Diasporic Consciousness and Identity Trauma in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake

Authors

  • Himadri Shyam Assistant Professor (Contractual) Department of English Sarupathar College Affiliated to Dibrugarh University Sarupathar, Golaghat, Assam, India

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.24113/ijellh.v8i7.10660

Keywords:

Diaspora, Identity, Loneliness, Negotiation, Discourse.

Abstract

In the contemporary era, immigration, exile and expatriation are related to home, identity, nostalgia, memory and isolation. These are the recurrent theme in the diasporic writings of the post-colonial writers like V.S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie, Bharati Mukherjee, Jhumpa Lahiri and so on.

Identity is a topical issue in the contemporary study of culture with many ramifications for the study of ethnicity, class, gender, race, sexuality and subcultures. It becomes an issue when something assumed to be fixed, coherent, and stable is displaced by the experience of doubt and uncertainty. When a period of uncertainty and confusion upsets a person’s identity, it becomes insecure, usually due to a change in the expected aims or role in society. This identity trauma brings a sense of longing and loss as seen in Lahiri’s stories.

 The present article focuses on the first generation and second generation immigrants adherence to the old and new land as can be found in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake. Lahiri represents her characters struggling to balance the two worlds that involve the issues of immigration, race, class, and culture. 

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References

Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of Nationalism. London: Faber, 1982
Bhabha, Homi K. The location of culture. London: Routledge, 1994
Gopinath Gayahri: Nostalgia, Desire, Diaspora,: South Asian Sexualities in Motion. Theorizing Diaspora: A Reader eds. Jona Evans Braziel and Anita Mannur. Malden: Blackwell, 2003
Hall, Stuart: Cultural Identity and Diaspora Identity, Community, Culture, Difference. Ed Jonathan Rutherford. London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1990.
Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Namesake, New Delhi: Harper Collins, 2003
Rushdie, Salman. Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism. London. Granta books, 1991.

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Published

2020-07-22