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Social Identity in Bharati Mukherjee’s Days and Nights in Calcutta
Mohammed Lateef Aziz Twayej
Volume: 12 Issue: 4 2022
The study is an attempt to discuss Bharati Mukherjee’s social identity in a remarkable work of diasporic Indian literature, Days and Nights in Calcutta, based on Henri Tajfel’s theory. Days and Nights in Calcutta is classified as one of the most prominent works in diaspora literature. It is a shared work of Bharati Mukherjee and her Canadian husband, Clark Blaise, in which they record their daily life for fourteen months in India. While reading the text, it is easy for the reader to capture the two opposite perspectives, the Western and Eastern. The Western attitude is represented in Clark Blaise’s section, in which he conveys his own experience in India by describing the streets, hotels etc. He reflects the Western eye of Indian culture by drawing the contradictions of the Indian culture with the Western one. The Eastern lens is presented in Mukherjee’s section when she narrates her leaving India when she was a little girl to Europe and her return after a long absence to her homeland. In her narration, she seeks reconciliation and reunion again with her origin. She suffers the culture clashes and racial discrimination for most of her life. Her identity is torn between the Eastern and Western cultures. European culture treated her as an Indian due to her skin colour, while in India, she is Western due to her looks. Thus, the study attempts to discuss Mukherjee’s social identity in the light of social psychology and to examine whether the writer can adopt a new culture to get a reunion after a long absence. Moreover, it also focuses on the transformative experiences of Mukherjee, which she acquires while abroad, such as racial discrimination in alien cultures due to her race, culture, and origin, leading to discrimination against her people in the homeland.
Refer & Earn