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Clothes by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni - Book Report/Review Example

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The book review “Clothes by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni” analyzes a short story “Clothes”, which captivates a transitory trajectory of Indian women who migrated to the US with her husband after her marriage and suffers, accepts and adepts a complete socio-economic transition in her life…
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Clothes by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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Download file to see previous pages Sumita accepts the tradition of her society and accepts the concept of arranged marriage and marries a man whom she has never met before. She accepts the fact and is shown at the outset of the story to explore the unexplored and know the unknown and with this vision; she wholeheartedly starts dreaming of her new life which is going to place her to a completely different socio-cultural milieu. She undergoes a paradoxical transition in her life and that evolves at different times through her clothes and their colors (Almeida, “The politics of mourning: Grief Management in Cross-cultural Fiction”). Conflict essentially builds up and strengthens the dramatic qualities of any fiction and that conflict does not necessarily mean a conflict with an antagonist in its physical form. The antagonist as in the case is society and the cross-cultural transition which treats the existential discourse of the protagonist. Sumita in the US faces difficulty in an adept complete change in her attire from eastern styling to that of western. The conflict which she faces is from the transition that she undergoes while changing her identity from wife to woman. One of those dresses includes a T-shirt that is orange in color and symbolizes hope and change on a brighter note. But the destined predicament at the last segment of the story where Sumita has to encounter an unfortunate incident in the face of her husband’s murder washes all sort of color and possibility in her life and places her with a confrontation of uncertainty where she is confused to continue her life in a country where the life of her husband was not secured even or get back to the soil i.e. her country from where she was uprooted long back as she fails to identify herself in both the nations and their societies. This is probably the greatest threat encountered by the protagonist of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s short story, “Clothes” presented in the form of diasporas of existential and identity crisis from the perspective of feminist discourse. Transition in Sumita’s life does not only take place on the physical plane but it takes place also mentally. Quite natural to human nature, it gets reflected through the outward appearance of Sumita precisely through her clothes and its colors. The Indian traditional attire for women is Sari and Sumita at the beginning of the story is seen clad in it fully at one with the tradition of her soil. The selection of each cloth in the story and its color has a purpose. The story begins with a stage in Sumita’s life when she is about to be a bride and puts a yellow sari.
The yellow sari is described as sunflower after the rain and symbolizes possibility. Next Sumita appears before the readers in a light pink sari at the occasion of her bride-viewing. This color signifies luck, future and marriage and transition which take place in the form of her shift from a daughter to Somesh’s wife. On her plunge to the United States, she clad herself in a blue sari which matches her present situation as she is ready to take off the flight and the color gets entwined with the sky. Her mother insists her to put a red sari which traditionally symbolizes luck for the married Indian women but Sumita at this juncture of her life is all set to make an identity of her own self. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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