The Hybrid Space and Fragmented Self in Chitra Divakaruni’s The Mistress of Spices

Our globalized world is marked with intense cultural encounters of all kinds leading to the dismissal of the ideas of class, caste, religion and culture as artificial constructs. The emergence of multicultural literature celebrates cultural hybridity. Cultural intermingling results in redefining the borders of nation and foregrounding the marginalized voices. Immigrant women characters populate the American mainstream literature. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has proved her mettle as one of the most prolific and vociferous voices of Asian American immigrant women. In The Mistress of SpicesDivakaruni explores the diasporic condition against a multicultural backdrop. The protagonist Tilo comes across many characters representing vivid identities of diasporic life like scattered identity, marginalized, rebellious, docile, traditional and modern. The novel propounds deep rooted multiculturalism in its portrayal of cultural diversity, culture conflict, racial tensions, alienation and integration of the migrant subject into the multi-ethnic American society. In Black Skin White Masks, Frantz Fanon explores the impact of altered space upon one's consciousness in the colonial context. In place of a double consciousness, the women of her texts develop multiple consciousnesses resulting in a self that is neither unified nor hybrid, but rather fragmented.

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