JasmineEssayExam - Michael Kjome Jasmine Essay Exam II...

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Michael Kjome April 10, 2009 Jasmine Essay Exam II F ORTUNE In Bharati Moukherjee novel Jasmine the central character fights between the concept of fate and free will, she uses these concepts to create identities for every point in her progression through life in America. Fate and free will has religious, ethical and scientific implications. The religious aspects imply that omnipotent divinity does not assert power over individual will and choice. Ethics would imply that individuals could be held morally accountable for their actions. Whereas the physical properties relate to the actions of the brain and mind are possibly determined by physical causality. Free will is based on the belief that there is a fixed and natural order to the universe. “My grandmother may have named me Jyoti, Light, but I was already Jane, a fighter and adapter” (40). Jasmine struggles with these elements very quickly into her story and constantly through out her journey to find herself and become American, as she adapts. The story of our main character is told in a 3-1-2-4 sequence. Beginning in Iowa with Jane as her character is constantly undergoing a quest for identity. We appreciate her development from illegal immigration the to the United States to her migration from the Keys of Florida to New York and into Iowa. Also we get to see her progress form Jyoti, to Jasmine, to Jase and Jane. We understand that she has undergone transitions towards self-transformation and we begin to understand her story. When Jane meets with Mr. Skola we see her struggle of fate and free will, “We murder who we were so we can rebirth ourselves in the images of dreams.” (29). It is clear that while Jane looks back on her past the fight between fate and free will is a constant struggle. She attempts to take
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full control of her life or at lest how ever much she thinks she can. The understanding that she makes with the fates is that she has control but it is dependant on what the universe has in store for her. She knows both sides very well and discusses them. Her recognition come through when she realized that “Village girls are like cattle, whichever way you lead them, that is the way they will go” (46). I can only think that instead of village girls she is attempting to place that statement on everyone, whether it be village girls or city men, this apprehension rings true. The religious tones of fate are set before us in Hasnapur, India where we first meet Jyoti. She is an intelligent and creative girl who finds herself stuck in the rut that has been cut for her by the cosmos. Followers of fate in India surround her. We are introduced to Jyoti in the first few pages. She is told her fate as determined by the universe but refuses to accept her prefabricated life. She fights off most signs of fate with the control she has in her life. Simple things give her a sense of power, “The naked light bulb swaying at the end of a braided cord was magic! With my palm on the light switch, I
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This note was uploaded on 12/09/2009 for the course ENGL 1800 taught by Professor Moore during the Spring '08 term at Colorado.

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JasmineEssayExam - Michael Kjome Jasmine Essay Exam II...

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