EVENT Dec 31
ABSTRACT Oct 30
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'Cultural Shock' in the works of Bharati Mukherjee and Uma Parameswaran

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Categories: Interdisciplinary, Popular Culture, Literary Theory, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy
Event Date: 2020-12-31 Abstract Due: 2020-10-30 Submit Abstract

“Cultural Shock” probes into the meaning of cultural shock. The chapter also briefly touches upon the pain and suffering that the immigrants undergo because of the clash of cultures. In both writers racism gives rise to deep pain as it gives a feeling of non-acceptance. It is all the more shocking because Indian immigrants are well aware of caste distinctions but not of racial discrimination, which makes the protagonist live in constant fear. Mukherjee explores ‘double cultural shock’ in The Tiger’s Daughter, an autobiographical novel, as the protagonist undertakes a physical and spiritual journey back home. The stories in Darkness are set in Canada and therefore, also bring out the cultural shock that immigrants undergo in a racist society. Uma Parameswaran’s immigrants are also shocked by the hostile attitude of the Canadians. Trishanku, Rootless but Green are the Boulevard Trees and Dear Deedi, My Sister resound with the pain emerging from cultural shock as characters echo and re-echo their pain and a whole collage of immigrants is formed as characters and words merge. Cultural shock is not an isolated incident in Parameswaran’s works but is the suffering of an entire body of South Asian immigrants. In Mukherjee’s works cultural shock diminishes to a large extent as she goes on to celebrate assimilation. In Parameswaran’s works cultural shock is sustained throughout even though there is hope. Her immigrants are subjected to cultural shock at a deeper level because they are trapped forever between two worlds.

manohar.dugaje@rediffmail.com

Dr. Manohar Dugaje