Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Jasmine's Journey

My reading of this book is that it simply wants to communicate that life is a journey. Jasmine goes through a series of life changes and continues to move from place to place, constantly in motion. I think it is very interesting that the story is told i a flashback form. It seems to me that the structure itself is communicating that the current Jasmine is a combination of all the past events that occurred to her, all the past people that she was or became before we meet her.
I was specifically intrigued by the astrologer's prophecy in the beginning of the book. I think that despite Jasmine's protest, his words definitely do color her life experiences. It seems that it does come true in a sense, and that in another sense, some of her actions are propelled by a need to not allow the prophecy to come true. The Jasmine we readers know is not a widowed women, as the prophecy tells her she is to live her life in "widowhood and exile" (3). Yet, this is not the case. The words haunt her, however much she wishes they didn't, as she comments at the end of this reflection, she communicates "I know what I don't want to become" (3).
Following this further, it could be argued that the prophecy did come true when Jasmine was another version of herself, or living another life. Jasmine admits "I have had a husband for each of the women I have been. Prakash for Jasmine, taylor for Jase, Bud for Jane. Half-face for Kali " (197). By the end of the novel, it seems that Jasmine has come to embrace a fluid philosophy of life. she tells Karin "something [she's] an expert on: I see a way of life coming to an end" (229), reflecting that "when [she] was a child, born in a mud hut without water or elecricity,the Green revolution had just struck Punjab [... she asks to] release Darrel from the land. There are different mysteries at work" (229). It strikes m this parallel between the both of them, they are both beholden to a land or custom that they wish to be free of, the only way in which they can truly be free of them, however, is to die. However, Jasmine dies and is reborn as a new person with a new identity, whereas Darrell dies for good.

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