Jasmine Bharati Mukherjee
The novel Jasmine by Bharati Mukherjee, is a compelling story of a women’s seemingly never ending triumphs that help her to grow and form into a mature adult. Jasmine, the main character, goes through many stages and with those stages new personalities, to endure the hardships she faces. A theme that runs constantly throughout the novel is the theme of hope. The theme of Hope is shown in the novel Jasmine when Jasmine gets raped, when her husband dies, when and lastly when she has to choose between her lovers.
Hope is a feeling that what is wanted can be grasped or that events will turn out for the best. Without hope, Jasmine wouldn’t have made it through all the dreadful events that occurred in the novel. When Jasmine accumulated what was left of her after the recent events in India, she got herself to move to the states. She traveled on ship and while on the long journey the unthinkable happened. On the ship ride to New York, Jasmine was raped. Today there are thousands and thousands of rape victims, and majority of them say that they will never be the same. The U.
S Department of Health and Human Services surveyed the victim symptoms during the aftermath being raped. Some symptoms are nightmares, decreased appetite, eating disorders, menstrual pain, suicide attempts and post traumatic stress disorder. Being raped is a traumatizing event, and the overall effect of it depends on the way the victim handles it. A victim can see it as an event that can build character and strengthen them as a person or it could be the very thing that breaks them. Jasmine once again picked up her broken self and tried her best to get over the gruesome event.
She got the New York, and there she began to rebuild herself from after the death of her husband and the rape. She made friends, left the past behind and moved toward her future. Hope played a role in this event because after being raped, she could have told herself that she didn’t want to move on, or that she was worthless, but she had hope that things would get better. Soon enough, they did. The next event that shows hope is when Jasmines husband dies. Bharati foreshadows events that Jasmine will face, in the opening of the book.
When Jasmine was just seven years old, a fortune tells her about the horrible fate that will come her way in the future; the old astrologer told her she would be widowed and exiled. Jasmine rejected the old mans prediction, but little did she know, 12 years later the fortune became a reality. Jasmine married her first husband at seventeen, in the small Indian village of Hanaspur. Together they lived a simple life until he was killed in a religious bombing, leaving her with nothing. The old man she once called ‘crazy’, was now the man that long ago predicted the life she was presently living.
Most women after losing there husband unexpectedly and gruesomely result in being depressed and sometimes give up on life. Jasmine had her stage of that, and even attempted suicide. However, she realized that things could get better, that she could perhaps become someone and reach her potential. While grasping on to hope she gathers the strength to get herself out of India and into the states, to possibly live a new and hopefully better life. Eventually, through hard work she becomes a health professional in the states and meets a banker named Bud Ripplemeyer.
Hope played a key role in her transformation from a young widowed women living in a small village in India, to a bankers wife in Baden, Iowa. She held on to what was left, built on it, while hoping for a better turn of events. Considering the past trials, Jasmine was once again content with her life, and let’s just say her happiness with Bud didn’t last forever. Relationships have their ups, and their downs, but what keeps a person holding on when they deal with a ‘down’? Hope. Hope keeps you holding on to something, even when it’s barely anything.
People hold on as long as they can because hope keeps them thinking that they still have a chance and that something good can come out of the bad. Bud Ripplemeyer is Jasmines middle-aged husband and father to her adoptive son. When they met he was an average man, and when they were married it was just the same. But sometime into the marriage, Bud was shot in his back and paralyzed. Many men or women who have to deal with a crippled companion feel like that there companion is tying them down. When the injury first occurred, Jasmine was accepting of it, and kind of became his caretaker. After I Prepare him for bed, undo the shoes, pull off the pants, sponge-bathe him, he likes me to change roles, from caregiver to temptress” . This quote made by Jasmine shows that she cares for him, but there relationship in transforming from love to a job. After a while she became fed up and wanted to live life freely. She later ran away with another man. Her life with Bud had no spark, and she wanted something to look forward to every morning, and that new man could giv e that to her. She deals with having to choose between who she wants to be with.
She does ultimately choose the other man, but she did feel some sort of duty toward Bud because of there child, and that was the last strand that kept there friendship going. They split the custody of there daughter, but she could have simply let Bud go after that, but she held on, and with her hope of having a brighter future, she now had a relationship with the father of her only maternal child. With hope Jasmine is happy mother, wife, adult and friend. When Jasmines gets raped, when her husband dies, and when she has to choose between her two lovers, the theme of hope is shown.
When women or men get raped or even worse lose the spouse, it can have an everlasting effect on them. By dealing with the situation in a positive effort while keeping hope that things will get better, things will work themselves out, and Jasmine is a great example of that. Jasmine also shows hope when she goes through the tough time of helping bud and choosing who to be with, but she does what her heart tells her, and ends up happy. When you think you’ve reached a point of no return, pick your self up, dust your self off, keep hope, and start building.