15 May 2023 at 12:24:10 pm
Fu Jen Catholic University
Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from University of Madras,
Bachelor of Divinity from the University of London
Master of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Madras
Master of Comparative Literature from the University of London
Lecturer in English at SLIATE (Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technological Institute)
Hybridity and Harmony: Cultural Hybridization in Jhumpa Lahiri's "When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine" and "Mrs. Sen's"
Keywords: Jhumpa Lahiri, acculturation, cultural hybridization, Deleuze and difference
This study explores the concept of cultural hybridization in Jhumpa Lahiri's short stories "When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine" and "Mrs. Sen's." By drawing on Homi Bhabha's notion of cultural hybridization and Edward Soja's idea of the "third space," the paper examines the intersections of cross-cultural encounters as both real and imagined spaces. Additionally, considering Lahiri as a second-generation diasporic writer, the research engages with scholars such as Judith Shuval, Steven Vertovec, and Avtar Brah to examine diaspora as a social construct, a deterritorialized/transnational experience, and the lived experience of locality, respectively.
The study investigates the cultural conflicts between native-born American children (Lilia and Eliot) and adult immigrants from Asia (Mrs. Sen and Mr. Pirzada) by employing the concept of acculturation proposed by cross-cultural psychologist John W. Berry. This analysis aims to shed light on the cultural space inhabited by both the first and second generations of immigrants. Furthermore, the research employs Deleuzian ontological perspectives, particularly the emphasis on difference over identity, to conduct a comparative study of Lahiri's portrayal of child characters, namely Lilia in "When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine" and Eliot in "Mrs. Sen's." This comparative analysis foregrounds Deleuze's concepts of difference and repetition.
Consequently, the primary objective of this research is to apply Deleuzian concepts to offer potential solutions for the perennial problem of identity crisis experienced by immigrants during the process of cultural hybridization.
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