Cultural Transformation in Jumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth Essay

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Cultural Transformation In Jumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth Jhumpa Lahiri’s narratology unfolds the complexity of diasporic life in terms of the variations and diversities as also the contrasts and contradictions of human experience in diverse perspectives. Her voice is the voice of an immigrant caught up in the vortex of a multicultural world, trying to define herself. Her focus is the “mindscape of characters” and “human predicament” in its wider perspective. There is a striking similarity between Lahiri’s situation and the situations of many of her characters in the collection of short stories Unaccustomed Earth.The present project focuses on the dynamics of cultural transformation in Jhumpa Lahiri’s collection of short stories Unaccustomed Earth. The project analyses eight stories from Unaccustomed Earth, including the title story Unaccustomed Earth, Hell-Heaven, Only Goodness, A Choice of Accommodation, Nobody’s Business along with final three stories, grouped together as Hema and Kaushik which are Once in a Lifetime, Year’s End, Going Ashore . The eight stories in this splendid volume expand upon Lahiri’s epigraph, a metaphysical passage from The Custom-House, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, which suggests that transplanting people into new soil makes them harder and more flourishing. Human fortunes may be improved, Hawthorne argues, if men and women “strike their roots into unaccustomed earth.” It’s an apt, rich metaphor for the transformations Lahiri oversees in the pages, in which two generations of Bengali immigrants to America — the newcomers and their hyphenated children — struggle to build normal, secure lives. As her characters mature in their new environments, they carry with them the potential for a sudden change in them. Lahiri shows that people may fall at any time by swift grabs of chance, wherever they happen to live. Uncontrollable events may

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