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Migration To Nowhere. The Limbo of Bharati Mukherjee's Wife.

Nadia Ceolin - Università degli Studi di Torino - [2005-06]
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  • Tesi completa: 92 pagine
  • Abstract
    In recent years migrant writing has been one of the most popular trends and this new creative impulse has consequently given birth to several talented promising distinguished authors. Commonwealth writers have produced works of high literary quality and some of them have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature: the Australian Patrick White (1973), the Nigerian Wole Soyinka (1986), the South African Nadine Gordminer (1991) and the Caribbean Derek Walcott (1992). It goes without saying that not only does this shift show a change of interests, but it also underlines the necessity to face a new reality. Among all these fascinating different voices, Bharati Mukherjee has played an interesting role.

    As the aim of this text is to provide a detailed analysis of one of Bharati Mukherjee’s most sticking novel, Wife, it is necessary to contextualize this work and the features which make it a masterpiece. Published in 1975, it can not be treated as the typical novel which concerns immigration as it mainly deals with the protagonist’s alienation both in her own country, India, and in the New World. Her problem is not related to the place where she lives, but it lays within herself and it is caused by her tedium vitae. Taking into consideration her psychic defect, the author has chosen a significant name for this character as dimple, in accordance with the Oxford English dictionary, means “ any slight surface depression”. Consequently, this name seems to justify her behaviour, her continuous nightmares and the longing for violence.

    What shocks the most is Dimple’s state of uncertainty about her life that she can not control and in which there is no advancement or improvement. This sort of limbo, which will be the key word of this analysis, has to be approached from different perspectives. Her uncertainty can refer to her status of immigrant as she fails to transit from the Indian world to the New one or it may be related to her inability to choose an identity.
    No doubt the author has managed to invent a story which can stimulate and provide further incentives in dealing with women and in particular, immigrant women.
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