|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Immigration Multiculturalism American dream Books|
"We must think of American culture and nationhood as a constantly re-forming, transmogrifying "we."…" (Mukherjee, 359). Mukherjee's statement on the idea of multiculturalism as part of the American dream is introduced in the quote above. Mukherjee is an Asian from Calcutta, India, and leaves her home and family in 1961 to pursue her studies at Iowa University in the United States. She falls in love with a Canadian man while studying, and they get married, something that deters her from her previous intention to go back home after her studies. The immigrant couple then moves to Canada, where they stay for fifteen years and return to the United States. It is then that Mukherjee develops more interest in the immigrant experiences in the U.S. At the point of her return, Mukherjee does not understand politics to become a citizen but gains it rightfully. In her novelist career, she does not pose as an Asian American but as purely American. Mukherjee's identification as an American stirs her writing as she speaks of why multiculturalism is not as successful as it was expected in the American Dream. Supporters of multiculturalism propose that the intention is to bring a unified American society.
Conversely, opponents like Mukherjee expose that cultural diffusion alienates people from their traditions, killing many of their cultural practices, especially for immigrants. Therefore, American Dreamers can fulfill unity by recognizing and accepting various cultures that allow immigrants to practice their own without forced assimilation. The purpose of this paper is to explore the Rogerian argument skills on the American Dreamer by Bharati Mukherjee.
1. Problem Definition
Despite the cultural heterogeneity portrayed in the U.S as compared to European countries like Canada, America still stands among the countries whose legal systems are discriminative. There are cases of racial and ethnic discrimination that target immigrants in the United States, an issue that questions the country's achievement of the American Dream on equality. Mukherjee's rights ass an assimilated American by appreciating the transformation that the country has brought to her life and the efforts like voting and fighting biasness which she has made to add value to the American Dream. In her defense, Mukherjee proposes that multiculturalism should be defined by the American's ability to practice their traditions without choosing the nation's dream over their own.
2. Argument Part A
"The Indian subcontinent is not merely a geographic space upon which colonial rapacities have been acted, but is furthermore that imaginative construction through rapaciousness can worship its misdeeds, thus making the subcontinent a topological repository from which colonial and postcolonial imaginations have drawn – and continue to draw – their most basic figures for the anxiety of empire" (Suleri 4-5). Sara Suleri points out that in a postcolonial society, the Indian culture continues to diminish with the post-colonialists trying to immerse immigrants into what they deem best for America. However, as natives, the changing vocabularies keep making the Indians feel alienated from their selves, something that Mukherjee reveals is negative to multiculturalism.
"So Patels are hard to sell real estates to…. They work hard, eat cheap, sleep ten to a room stush their savings under futons in Queens..." (Mamet 23). David Mamet, in his playwright, "Glengarry Glen Ross," describes what the Americans still say about immigrants in modern society. The Patels are the Indians who are stereotyped for being conservative even in an era when equality is becoming central to the American culture. Therefore, it would be mean to criticize their norms but accept them and let them live the way they deem right.
3. Argument Part B.
"…the advanced capitalist countries today are a field of stylistic and discursive heterogeneity without a norm…" (Jameson 65). Fredrick Jameson describes postmodernity as a system that is yet to accept cultural diversity from its deepest roots. Ethnic politics and Anglocentrisms remain as shallow topics in cities where heterogeneity of culture is still unstable.
Anglo-Americans are referred to as the 'others' whereas immigrants remain outsides in postmodern America where they must live according to cultural standards set by leaders.
"…in writing out the condition of 'Otherness,' postcolonial texts assert the complex of intersecting 'peripheries' as the actual substance of experience" (Ashcroft et al. 78). On the other hand, critics of postcolonial America explain that modern American society represents an 'Otherness" that is achieved through the sovereignty of a particular source of power. Ashcroft et al. (104) describe the intersections that modern Americans have imposed on others who include the Asian Americans and other immigrants forcefully immersed in the countries culture.
4. Areas of Common Ground
Bharati Mukherjee reveals an American society she has experienced as not truly equal for Immigrants. The idea of multiculturalism is portrayed as not realistic to fulfill equality as a part of the American Dream. Sara Suleri agrees with the notion of a biased American Society proposing that the post-colonialists only defend a diverse culture since they hope to create a supreme dynasty in an Indian-dominated community. However, her idea is seemingly opposed to multiculturalism and calls for Indianism to reign among its people. Similarly, Fredric Jameson agrees that modern America is stylish and discursive in its culture, an issue that brings a confused society in which the Anglo- Americans and immigrants continue to appear as a societal norm. Also, Ashcroft et al. describe the 'Otherness' of immigrants in postmodernity, which is affected by the superiority of the authorities in America who want to shape America as they find fit.
5. Proposed Solutions
Sara Suleri is opposed to the idea of multiculturalism and suggests a society where superiority should not demean the rights of the Indians. Her context is positioned on Indian rights. Conversely, David Mamet presents a model racist American society that discriminates against the Patels, who are the Indians. As Mukherjee, Ashcroft et al., and Fredrick Jameson agree on the existence of ethnic discrimination and post-colonialism, they propose solutions to the identified problem. Essentially, Mukherjee suggests a society that does not only recognize immigrants but gives them the ability to practice their traditions in a new land. As an immigrant, Mukherjee points out that her originality as an Asian does not deter her from exercising her rights. Unlike other immigrants who gain citizenship from religious and political regimes, Bharati's citizenship is a result of her voluntary work. Mukherjee practices what she hopes other novelists, immigrants, Americans, and leaders should embrace, a non-discriminative approach to fulfilling the American Dream. Therefore, from Mukherjee's point of view, equality can be achieved through multiculturalism only if all traditions are recognized and practiced independently rather than through diffusion. People should be allowed to practice their cultures by respecting those of others and not alienating them from their own.
Conclusively, the Rogerian argument on the American Dreamer by Bharati Mukherjee is a suggestive essay portraying the failures of multiculturalism as a part of achieving equality in the American Dream. The main goal in the dream is to make a peaceful and equal society for all people, immigrants, natives, citizens, male or female, young or old. Whereas employment opportunities have been provided for both genders and discrimination reduced, there are still cases of racism in the legal system. Therefore, Mukherjee describes the idea of cultural diversity by proposing that society can only be fair if immigrants are allowed to practice their rights without assimilation.
Ashcroft, Bill, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin. Post-colonial studies: The key concepts. Routledge, 2013. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=4fAiHmXjXy8C&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Ashcroft+et+al.+,+&ots=KET44BASfA&sig=7sDRDMy7c_ln7bkT-ZCurVZ1EbQ
Jameson, Fredrick, and Hal Foster. "The anti-aesthetic." (1971). http://brianschrank.com/Intro_to_Media_Studies/resources/Ecstasy.pdfMamet, David. Glengarry Glen Ross. Grove/Atlantic, Inc., 2014. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=IGw9BAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT12&dq=Glengary+Glen+Ross,+David+Mamet&ots=43BrCk6dcf&sig=U8lWgYu1ipIeu3HM-KL8rhIMub8
Mukherjee, Bharati. "Immigrant Writing: Changing the Contours of a National Literature." American Literary History 23.3 (2011): 680-696. https://academic.oup.com/alh/article-abstract/23/3/680/323425
Suleri, Sara. The Rhetoric of English India. Penguin Books, India, 2005. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=ZtimcUrfxEsC&oi=fnd&pg=PP11&dq=Sara+Suleri&ots=tEL2KmC6VV&sig=FXF9uZOzMBYd7Muufh3XS19Y5hQ
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