AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics


My project focuses on Indian women's experience of immigration in literary works by Bharati Mukherjee. I focus on two novels: Bharati Mukherjee s Wife and Jasmine. How the Indian female immigrant identity changes in the process of integration; to what extent integration is an individual/collective process; which factors interfere in a successful adaptation and immigrant identity formation; how gender aspects participate in identity formation; why some Indian female immigrants of the same ethnicity, age, education and social status manage to integrate successfully while some do not; how the search for belonging correlates with the quest for self-definition - these are the issues I address in my thesis through reading Mukherjee's fiction. And in order to do so, I use an interdisciplinary approach, using sociological, historical, and psychological data, which I outline in the introduction, to contextualize the literary analysis in the Chapters II and III. The main characters of the novels are young Indian women who are part of the post-1960 migratory movement. I have chosen Mukherjee's texts for several reasons. First of all, the two novels are excellent pieces of literature worth close examination, and they are also good examples for studying immigration and integration issues, as they incorporate gender aspects and ethnic community problems. The protagonists have much in common in their backgrounds, which makes it interesting to compare them and to analyse their development in various stages of migration, where the manner of adaptation maintained by the protagonists shows elements of immigrant identity formation with its essential ambivalence, and its collective and individual structures.