A Bridge And A Synthesizer
Woman must be a bridge and a synthesizer. She shouldnt allow herself to be swept off her feet by superficial trends nor yet be chained to the familiar. She must ensure the continuity which strengthens roots and simultaneously engineer change and growth to keep society dynamic, abreast of knowledge, sensitivity to fast-moving events. The solution lies neither in fighting for equal position nor denying it, neither in retreat into home nor escape from it.Indira Gandhi (Eternal India)Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni nourishes a serious concern for contemporary women. Her protagonists possess the qualities listed in the excerpt from Eternal India by Ms Gandhi.
Living in the modern time, she has the same roots and shares her feeling that the women are free of the patriarchal strains. Though Divakaruni is now settled in the US, it is the feeling of belonging and rootedness to India and her interest in women.The author is one of the most celebrated Diaspora writers in the twentieth century who emphasize Diaspora women protagonists who are wedged between two cultures plus their isolation, mental trauma, dislocation, alienation, exile, and dispersion at the level of diasporic consciousness mainly. Thus, Women are represented as the most visible symbols of the hazardous strangeness arising out of the marital relations between cultures.
Divakaruni has proved her courage as one of the most productive and enthusiastic voices of Asian American Immigrant women. Her stories create a genuine collection of characters, even with all their magic and mystery hardly untrue to their human flaws and struggles of a life. She has captured the bear growling of uneasiness and often sheer conflict through the various immigrant experiences of women.Looking through the rich collection of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's works one can easily evaluates an essential picture of the South Asian diasporic knowledge across the Atlantic. Her view of these practices has been conditioned by the chronic cycle of contradictory posturing in notions of culture and race, geography and time. In most of her work the South Asian women separated between loyalties build up easily adjustable thought processes as well as habits and customs to achieve a double-faced existence.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni discovers the archetypal migrant experience by showing the reality through her novels that who Indian women moving out of stereotypes in American metropolitan landscapes. Usually Divakaruni's plots trait women of Indian roots ragged between new and old values. Her writings focus on the lives of migrant women- women in relationships, women in difficulties, and women in love.Her concern in looking deeper into the vague and often absurd existence of women began soon after she left Indian shoreline and her following certification of cross-country migrant experience. She always sustained that the stories of her novels are encouraged by the experiences of others and her imagination which the Indian Diaspora amply offers.
Divakaruni unites a natural bliss of treating the narrative essence with the creativity of a painter. She tried hard to detain the mysterious and complex psyche of the South Asian women in America in a style somehow similar to Du Bois's "double consciousness"; the term is used to describe an individual whose identity is divided into several facets. Du Bois saw double consciousness as a useful theoretical model for understanding the psycho-social divisions existing in the American society 1. Divakaruni's women are trapped between the dissolute, gloomy customs of South Asia, their place of origin and their present fights with a forward looking modern culture of an adopted place. As opposite to Du Bois's model of double consciousness, the women of her composition get their place under the sun in the definite structures of ethnic and sexual identities.
Divakaruni's protagonists take their voyage away from threads of duality, more towards conditions essentially complex and varied. In a clear exit from double consciousness, her women characters show several consciousnesses ending up in creating a self that is disjointed.As the women recognize both their sexuality and race through varied and new idea of a singular identity comes out as a misnomer. A conflict of sorts characterizes the lives of women which are born out of unstable levels of sensibility or consciousness.
The women characters present a raw element of doubt in understanding the nature of their identities, and are also obscure about their adaptableness to the social-cultural environment of an American society. However in a strange complex move this situation of multiplicity paves the way for the appearance of a state of freedom from conflicts for the protagonists. Adaptation to cross cultural surroundings in reality enables this various consciousness to ultimately produce a positive emotional or psychological element.A distinctive quality of this novelist is her attraction for imagery, which embodies the moments of apprehension. This adds an extra height to her elegantly structured and carefully organized novels. In the best novels of Chitra, the plot is created by the inner lives of the characters.
The characters themselves are unfolded by the resources of the eddy and flow of personal impressions, thoughts and feelings. The ordinary events in their lives and the inner lives of human beings are made to seem extraordinary. She brings together prose and poetry with such aptitude, that the study of the sensitive protagonists gains impetus, thus transforming their opinions into a crises-cross web of haunting images. Apt metaphors and symbols surge in a nonstop flow through the supply poetic prose of her novels.The chronological registration of female bias is one of Divakaruni's major achievements. Given the prominent historical cast of their imagination we are able to mark out how socio-historical progress and sensibility join together.
Hence, her novels can be read as a cautious sociological study of the slowly but surely changing position of Indian women. In Divakaruni's case Indian women in the Diaspora and the marginal's look for individual identity runs equivalent. She brings out the fear of domination and alienation of a woman, in an endocentric world. The politics in the family in her novels should be viewed in a global as the politics of the nation, the search for money and power. The author's protagonists exhibit what Grail Mc Gregor opines: "survival is not the point.
Endurance is not the point; resistance is the point, so that we know ourselves to be ourselves defined by our differences" 2. In a way, it might be remarked then that in the novels of Chitra Banerjee.Divakaruni has become more reachable to her readers by contributing in open discussions and writing occasional reviews or articles where she denotes her personal views on the art of fiction. Excellence of one's experience must show through one's work. The settings and scenes are definitely the ones she had gone through herself.
As for the characters - the minor and major characters are also picked up from the real life. The fiction of Divakaruni is connected directly with the Twentieth-Century transformations of communities and individuals. Although this modern writer builds up fundamentally different models for social organization, her writing returns again and again to common subjects. She seems to summarize the shared voice experience of a class of individuals who are affected by existential depression.Critics have pointed out that even though the reforms regarding the status of women seem to be a foremost anxiety within nationalist discourses, paradoxically women themselves seem to vanish from these deliberations.
Intellectual domination is a major reason of disagreement in the minds of female characters. Divakaruni's female characters aren't having psychological liberty which Virginia Woolf acknowledges essential for the free expression of creative aptitude. These characters show the 'nervousness of authorship' in an esteemed society.Mrs. Gupta writes a diary in a hidden manner, whereas Anju who is in the course of making a career in creative writing loses all her family knots. Cixous thinks that women usually do not show their skills or experiences; they feel scared of telling about it.
In the words of Gamble, "Feminist theorists have posited the notion of an alienated female subjectivity as the female is determined socially, linguistically and biologically by patriarchyâ€¦" 3.It is told by feminists that writing can help out women in attaining a positive identity and female subjectivity. Anju is able to reconcile with her situation of being defrauded by her husband in the act of writing, it also aids her in making relations with the people outside her community in America. As Dobson states that by using the ability of writing women can allow themselves for reconfiguration, reconnection, and restating of female subjectivities.To Divakaruni, the deeper levels of narrative stay alive only at the deeper levels of their character awareness. Mainly there is only one main protagonist in each novel who is not motionless and is always learning from the past.
In her heroines, the tendency towards self consciousness is acting from within and overcomes the turmoil arising from the disagreement with the existing world. The images of the culture, women, nations that come out of her novels carry on from past to present; she frequently restarts herself. By drawing on non-canonical figures in her work, this contemporary woman writer is both revalorizing the work of her ancestors and creating a communal female custom, grounded in the realism of women's lives.For Divakaruni, the main field has been the learning of the self. She tries to trace meaning in the life around, and then try to act in response to the modern conditions of individual loneliness and cultural break.
The author aspires to modernity, efforts to be universal plus sense bound to the roots and as a result, find her in an inconsistent and harsh position. Striving for individuality in the post-colonial world, the protagonists of Chitra Banerjee present the quandary of the modern day woman covering each and every phase of her life. In fact, her works have been recorded the political, social, and cultural changes brought about by immigration, globalization, and post-colonial consciousness.
Her aim is to develop a progressive and peaceful life which is favorable for the woman community.She is interlaced focusing on the psychological complexities of female bias as well as the openly political themes of communal feminist struggle and women's community. The heroines of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni become enduring parts of a larger community of women and leave behind the milieu in which they began, to include a wider range of issues. This research project is to focus on the psychological features of the inner variances experienced by the women.One can witness the optimistic understanding of the novel and its connection with female depiction offered by Barbara Freedman's book Staging the Gaze in the works of the writer. Her novels argue and emphasizes for the extremely sentimental, political, cultural and social power of fiction and fact.
She makes use of her work as a via media for efficient, feminist and personal change. It is widely accepted that the novel is the readiest and the most suitable technique of representing experiences in the milieu of our time. Out looked from a feminist perspective, her novels give fundamental insights into the nature of women, gender, and patriarchy. The characters of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni help to save women from marginalized position in the academy as well as the world on the whole.Her novels draw the lives of women engaged in an expedition for values. This is apparent in novels such as Sister of my Heart, Vine of Desire, The Mistress of Spices, and Queen of Dreams by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
Being a subject of widespread modern interest, this proposes an important link in the chain of "Novel/ new/ neo literatures." Her novels we have seen are the products of a powerful academic engagement with the socio-economic actuality of the writer's contemporary world. The problems tackled by women are brought to the forefront through multicoloured practices of woman characters and the registering of their consciousness. Tilo of The Mistress of Spices, Anju and Sudha of Sister of My Heart and Vine of Desire, and Rakhi and Mrs Gupta of Queen of Dreams are all broken personalities at the beginning of the novel. They come to terms with their identity or persona in their own specific ways.
Furthermore, events and situations keep adding novel dimensions to the shaping of notions and the knowledge of life since the communal constructs inflict inflexible standards and restraints on its people.Mrs. Gupta's voyage towards the redefinition of the self identity in Queen of Dreams, and Tilo's incapability to recognize her while having the deepest vision of the internal identity of others; all these are a sign of the complexities of subsistence or existence. Even though these women are at likelihood with the environment, they also comprehend the truth that the same has been a source of courage and strength to tide over their quandaries even though to a limited, but nevertheless, genuine victory.The search for self identity and an effort to define it also makes clear the frequent mixture of autobiography and fiction. In the novels of Chitra Banerjee, not only does the protagonist stay at the centre but even the story is told from her point of view.
In the course of individuation, each protagonist undergoes a search for spiritual and worldly assertion which always results in an active conflict with the obtainable social forms and myths of overriding patriarchal culture, as they endeavour to transform and analysis themselves. Divakaruni also recommends that it is women themselves who bring about patriarchy through their own deeds by refusing to change themselves. They do not fight back against patriarchy and at times also lead who are weaker. The author has a propensity to represent characters as types within a different moral framework.
We can find an effort to highlight the moral streak which can make sure a reaffirmation of human pleasure for a woman who is usually marginalized even in the obtainable system.Diasporics and migrants come across new ways of living and new epistemologies. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni living in America away from her land of birth feels the feebleness of her identity, which she represents through her protagonists. Her protagonists make new changes in their new surrounds and for this they reinvent themselves. Their encounters with new ways of life and their physical distance from their home confer upon them a kind of double vision which allows them to look both nostalgically and objectively at their own traditions and the alien culture into which they seek to put together.
As Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni writes in her article "Do South Asian Women Need Separate Shelter Homes?", "Coming to the US gave me a distance I needed to look back on my culture with objectivity, to pick out what I valued and realize what I didn't agree with" 4. The condition is further explicated in detail in Krishnaraj's observation:Indian expatriate writers do not write from the position of a distinct foreign community, such as the exiled black or West Indian novelists, but their writing reflects the perspective of someone caught between two cultures. They may look back on India with nostalgia, satirically celebrating their liberation or asserting their biculturalism, but they do look skeptically and wryly on their new homeland as outsiders, with the feeling of something having been lost in the process of growth. The ability to tolerate, accommodates, and also absorbs their cultures without losing the consciousness of being Indian marks the expatriate writers.
5There are certain chronic themes in the works of Divakaruni. These are the themes of homelessness, belonging, home, difference, assimilation, and nostalgia. Home, in fact, is a challenging area of diasporic consciousness. Immigrants leave behind their home and look for a new home in their host civilization.
As P. Radhakrishnan remarks in his essay:The older generation cannot afford to invoke India in an authoritarian mode to resolve problems in the diaspora, and the younger generation would be ill-advised to indulge in a spree of forgetfulness about "where they have come from." It is vital that the two generations empathize and desire to understand and appreciate patterns of experience not their own.6Radhakrishnan further quotes Maxine Hong Kingston who expresses in the text The Woman Warrior, that both the country of residence and the home country could become meager "ghostly" settings and the result can only be 'double depoliticization'. In Divakaruni's works home and nostalgia are configured in an entirely different way. Her protagonists are futuristic and revolutionary because they get rid of nostalgia. Anju in Sister of My Heart becomes a confident conqueror and a survivor.
As a migrant in America she leaves the position of her past, throwing away reminiscence and try to find absorption into her adopted culture, which for her, is the principal endurance policy. As Radhakrishnan aptly remarks that,The Diaspora has created rich possibilities of understanding different histories. And these histories have taught us that identities, selves, traditions, and natures do change with travel (and there is nothing decadent or deplorable about mutability) and that we can achieve such changes in identity intentionally.
In other words, we need to make substantive distinctions between "change as the default or as the path of least resistance" and "change as conscious and directed self fashioning." 7Author's protagonist Sudha in The Vine of Desire lingers a stranger in the adopted nation. In Queen of Dreams we observe the quandary of both first and second generation immigrants who are satisfactorily settled in the US but face troubles during the 9/11 attacks.Divakaruni clarifies the tricky modifications of women in whom duty and memory co-exist with a new, over and over again heartbreaking and disorienting set of standards; she deals with a new aspect of the migrant experience in the sense that the movement is not essentially a physical one or from east to west. By making Sudha settle on that she's not interested in America any longer and would like to go back to her home in Calcutta, the author wants to stride a new ground.
Through the eyes of people caught in the conflict of cultures, and by continuously juxtaposing Calcutta with a Californian city, Divakaruni discloses the rewards and the threats of breaking free from the past and the complex, often conflicting emotions that shape the way to independence. Readers of contemporary post-colonial fiction are now meticulously familiar with the themes of loss of identity, homelessness, migration, rootlessness, and exile which form the base of much post-colonial, Third World, and commonwealth writing.The anxiety between their society's anticipation of the diasporic writers and the requires of their art and their talents, their authoritative forces and demands towards selfhood, self consciousness and self significance, they require for individual recognition and autonomy as well as the support of the community make them wrestle with the issues like- "Where is home", "Who can I be, "Who am I", or in Frye's phrase, "Where is here".
For example, This Time of Morning (1965), The Day in Shadow (1971), and A Time to be Happy (1975) by Nayantara Sehgal discussion about women who are demoralized by marriage, accidents of history, political circumstances, and effort at breaking the fetters. In the same way, Attia Hossain's Sunlight on a Broken Column (1961) and Raji Narsimhan's Forever Free (1977) echo a substitute model by reworking the ancient myths. Such a made-up mythology at the same time provokes, entertains, and paves way for a revolution. The novels of Ruth Pawar Jhabwala fight with political and social issues, east-west comes across etc. Similarly Anna Wilson's Cactus (1980), Nancy Toder's Choices (1980), and Marge Piercie's The High Cost of Living (1978) are realistic fiction by women where notions of sexual politics, women's community power get recorded.
The women characters in all these novels try to free themselves. On the other side, the recognition of a woman with nature and body in an assortment of ways is depicted in Angela Carter's The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr. Hoffman (1972) and her short story "Polarities" (1971), "Dancing Girl" (1977). It is the spotted issues and themes in fiction by women that assists one to understand a different world and seek to imagine the significance of the potential of human accomplishment.
Therefore, in any review of contemporary fiction in English, an admiration of women becomes very essential.The awareness in women of their ability to go ahead of the boundaries prearranged to them by the society and the indifferent reaction of the patriarchal set up to their astonishing abilities makes women "doubly - mapped bodies." It is also the clash among the 'flesh', the 'spirit', the 'self' and the 'society' that Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni defines through her novels. But with patriarchal philosophy and obstacles coming in the way, the productive society which she portrays through her novels would stay handicapped; she also sees a magnificent vision which supports her decision. Her effort is to reorganize sexual colonialism in the society, by not only representing the patriarchal techniques of female objectification, but also presenting women characters who in diversified ways challenge such methods.
The most important thing is that her works signify an honest and genuine thinking of women's psyche.By illustration on non-canonical figures, her work grounded in the authenticities of women's lives. This contemporary woman writer is both forming a communal female tradition and revalorizing the work of her precursors. In a broader outlook, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is humanists obsessed with a method through which human potential particularly that of a woman, gets actualized. The author deals with present-day's problems in terms of her own ancestral roots of culture and religion. In her novels the clash of the sexes is presented in bright images of women as powerful and equally bright images of men as powerless plus powerful.In total, this thesis has endeavored in the course of a study of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni- the sensitive nature of the question of eccentricity of women and how as a woman writer she does to diverse Geo-cultural and socio-economic realities.
The main theme is a fictional world of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: Feminist Perspective. Her novels reflect and record a very broad range of the experiences of life. Such as, the great efforts of her protagonists for pleasant survival in a bigot culture are a practical analysis not only of patriarchy but also of an extremely growing materialism. An effort has been made in this research project to focus on the emotional aspects of the inner conflicts experienced by women.
Lastly it must be pointed out that we cannot possibly arbitrate the quality of talent in her.
Article name: A Bridge And A Synthesizer essay, research paper, dissertation