Vol 2 Issue 5 September 2015-October 2015
Abstract: Scholarly debates over immigration and “diaspora” have shifted in recent years to pluralistic approaches of critics such as Homi K. Bhabha and John Stuart Hall who argue that the “hybridity” and“in-betweeness” of immigrants’ life might function as a suitable ground for the social and cultural improvement of their life-conditions. Drawing on such ideas, this paper will discuss the positive effects of social changes presented in Jhumpa Lahiri’s short stories such as “When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine”, “This Blessed House”, and “The Third and Final Continent”, published in her debut short story collection Interpreter of Maladies, which challenge the common negative outlooks toward them. In spite of depicting the problems immigrants encounter in their diasporic life, Lahiri also depicts flexibility as an apposite ground for productive changes which are mostly observed in the life of those characters that do not stick to old beliefs and traditions and are active in initiating changes, and venture going through inexperienced experiences to improve their life conditions.
Lahiri uses her cultural background as an Indian - American to create plots and characters that express the juxtaposition in her own life. She uses her stories to represent both societies in order to transcend cultural boundries. Lahiri’s rhetorical aim is not to debate or to convince her readers in which society is superior, but to provide them with a new cultural outlook that will allow them to transform their cultural perspective. Though Lahiri presents a double-sided outlook about the diasporic life in her stories, a meticulous appraisal of her work reveals the fact the she opposes too much insistence on traditional definitions of home and motherland, and instead pays tribute to the fluidity and flexibility of hybrid identity.
Immigration, Diasporic Life, Hybridity, In-betweenness, Unhomliness.
Cultural Hybridity in the Select Fictions of Jhumpa Lahiri
International Journal of Novel Research in Humanity and Social Sciences