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30. Assimilation Among The Characters In Bharati Mukherjee’s Novel Desirable Daughters


This final project is a literary analysis of Desirable Daughters written by Bharati Mukherjee, an Indian American author, using assimilationist theory. Assimilationist theory is a theory in sociology of race and ethnic relations that refers to the process by which individuals or groups in a society take on the behavior and values of another culture, as well as the process by which outsiders or new comers are incorporated into the dominant society. This novel portrays the lives of some Indian immigrants in the United States.

The statement of the problem is how assimilation among the characters reflected in Desirable Daughters and the purpose of the analysis is to explain assimilation among the characters in the novel. In collecting the data, I endure qualitative research method by taking the data found in the novel started from reading the novel, quoting, identifying, classifying, and selecting the data related to assimilation and searching for references related to the subject matter.

The analysis shows that some characters in the novel, both the major and minor characters, present the two models of assimilation in the United States; whether Anglo-conformity model, salad bowl policy, or both of them. Such characters as Mr. Bhattacharjee, Tara, and Padma, present both the two models of assimilation, while Bish and Ronald Dey’s family only present Anglo-conformity model, and Rabi only presents salad bowl policy.

By studying an assimilation analysis, hopefully, we may learn about how two different ethnic groups come to interact and influence each other in a heterogeneous society. Through this novel, we are going to know about the effort of the Indian immigrants to adapt to and to embrace the American culture, whilst preserving some flavors of their homeland; such as religious belief, language, food, clothes, lifestyle, and so on.

By analyzing assimilation in Desirable Daughters, we will be more realized that the best way to be found acceptable by our new society is we have to conform entirely to the dominant culture in order to diminish prejudice and discrimination. However, we should not forget to always keep our native values, norms, and standards, so we do not lose our own identity.
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