Between the Homeland and Diaspora: Identity Dilemma in Indian Literature

Indrani Atul Borgohain, Deema Ammari


The article aims to analytically and comparatively examine how the negotiation of identity is represented in Indian literature, both in the homeland and abroad, in a situation where cultures meet, collide, and merge. The focus of the article will be on four books: Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger (2008), Bapsi Sidwa’s Water (2006), Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss (2006), and Bharathi Mukherjee’s Jasmine (1989). All the authors write about identity from a particular cultural context: the Bengali community in the USA, Brahmins in the Indian caste system, the privileged and less-privileged status of Indian individuals, and the hegemonic aspirations of the middle class that have taken the form of politics and produce socio-cultural inequalities. Because of the complex social structure dominated by the Indian caste system, one aspect of migrant experiences is the limitations placed by society on their identity, which can also be a critical determinant of their economic well-being and thus affect identity formation. Accordingly, the presumption is that the utility of the protagonists, both the immigrants and the locals in their homeland, encompasses economic well-being and cultural identity. Despite their sense of alienation, displacement, and rootlessness, the protagonists in all the novels that I have mentioned above manage to carve out a space of belonging for themselves, be it in their homeland or abroad, despite social, political, and cultural obstacles.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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