Bharati Mukherjee in her writings criticizes the assumptions entrenched in the western minds about the immigrants from India and other countries. She addresses the issue of multiculturalism which has a tremendous influence on the making of “new” Americans. She insists that the greater presence of non-European immigrants after the liberalisation of immigrant laws in 1965 has a terrific impact on the national identity of America. She maintains a clear distinction between Canada and USA and condemns the Canada’s official policy of multiculturalism which sanctions racial bigotry.
Mukherjee tells Alison B. Carb, “America, with its melting pot theory of immigration, has a healthier attitude toward Indian immigrants than Canada. Although this country…show more content… Mukherjee insists that her stories are about assimilation and not about alienation. Her stories reveal the immigrant’s experiences during their transformation from expatriates to immigrants. The expression “Expatriation” focuses on the home land from where people have migrated and the expression “immigration” focuses on the host country to which people come as immigrants.
In the collection of short stories titled Darkness, set in Canada and USA, Mukherjee addresses the challenges of hostility, exploitation, racial prejudice, violence, cultural conflict, gender, negative stereotyping and identity1. This socio-cultural scenario of separation and struggle for identity alter human relationships significantly in the diasporic space. The title of this collection, Darkness symbolizes the ignorance which creates binary opposition between people of white and dark colour skins. Mukherjee’s writing style is marked by irony and satire. Her dialogue is…show more content… The soldiers cut her nipples with their bayonets, and leave her in a ditch thinking that she will die soon. Christian missionaries rescue her and later send her to Iowa. The Brandon farmers in Van Buren County in Iowa adopt her. Angela, now a teenager, has cordial relations with her new found parents and other members of the family. She does not suffer from nostalgia, but she compares her wretched and dangerous life in Dakha to the secure life in Brandons’ farmhouse. Angela’s acculturation and assimilation into the socio-cultural space of America is complete. The process of acculturation is not painful to Angela as in the case of other immigrants. She transcends the barriers of race and colour. The Americanization is so intense that Angela does not bother with the religious beliefs of Islam though she was born in that religion. “On Sunday, after church, we sit down to a huge pork- roast-pigs aren’t filthy creatures here as they are back home--” (9).
As an orphan in Bangladesh, she was deprived of affection and emotional bonding. In Bangladesh, she was just an orphan girl. Here, in USA she has an identity, and she is able to relate herself to others in the society with dignity. Her feeling that the past is lost to her is paradoxical. However, it shows her determination to let go the past and reinvent a new identity. “The coach has put