Relocating Oneself Beyond Barriers

  • S Sumithra Devi Assistant Professor, Department of English, T.K.M. College of Arts and Science, Kollam, Kerala, India
Keywords: Identity, Cultural Dislocation, Displacement, Other, Diaspora, Positioning


South-Asian diasporic authors write out of their specific cultural, individual and collective needs that relate to their experiences of racism, ethnic discrimination and sexism in the new space. The task at hand is to re-structure and re-constitute alien paradigms to suit the spaces inhabited by the immigrant. Immigrant writing involves a powerful “presencing” of source and host cultures. There are indeed variations within the immigrant groups in terms of the degree of retention of ethnic cultural values, the behavioural patterns and the degree of accommodation arrived at with the demands of the host culture. These various facets of immigrant experience, that are thrown into focus as a result of cross-cultural encounter, point to the shared experiences of the immigrant communities, which constitute the ethos of the diaspora. Diaspora is an important conceptual tool because it highlights the multiple standpoints borne of migration and displacement. It illuminates an ambivalent politics of positioning and being positioned, of identification and being identified.In her debut collection of short stories Interpreter of Maladies, also called, “stories of Bengal, Boston and Beyond”, Jhumpa Lahiri probes deeply into the maladies of cultural dislocation and the consequential emotional trauma. This paper analyses four short stories titled “A Temporary Matter”, “The Third and Final Continent”, “Mrs. Sen’s” and “Interpreter of Maladies” in the anthology and attempts to trace how the immigrants who vacillate between two cultures overcome the identity crisis they face.

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How to Cite
Sumithra Devi, S. (2023). Relocating Oneself Beyond Barriers. Shanlax International Journal of English, 12(1), 4-10.