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On Identification and Narrative Identity: Self-Formation in Bharati Mukherjee’s Jasmine

  • Nicole Frey BüchelEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

In Bharati Mukherjee’s novel Jasmine, the eponymous protagonist’s process of self-formation is characterised by the interplay of the visual and the verbal. Jasmine’s attempt to constitute the self by identifying with the (static) images of identity provided by the literary figure Jane Eyre results in an “identification with alienation” (Morris). And yet, the analysis of the narrative methods applied in the novel reveals that Jasmine succeeds in constructing a meaningful narrative identity once she recounts her life story. This postmodern conception of identity also affects the genre of the novel. While Jasmine first orients itself on the traditional Bildungsroman, central aspects of the genre are eventually challenged so that Mukherjee’s novel ultimately presents its readers with different concepts of both personal and generic identity.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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