Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The power of belief

One of the most prominent themes we have explored is the theme of belief. In “Jasmine”, Jasmine is powerful in her pursuit of reshaping her own reality. At a young age she is cursed with the fate of widowhood and yet her widowhood turns into a blessing in disguise. Her marriage to Prakash is a disaster in the eyes of her village. Prakash, a modern Indian man, is not phased by the pressures of society but rather has his own agenda for himself and for his traditional Indian wife. His courage at first frightens Jasmine, will she ever have children? Will her family shun her for living such an untraditional lifestyle? But in the end, Jyoti’s transformation to Jasmine literally saves her life. While she is planning to end her own life once in America, Jasmine soon discovers the life she can create for herself. Prakash’s belief in her, and her belief in herself has helped to shape her reality. We discussed in class whether Jasmine is truly free or not because Prakash is responsible for changing her name and introducing Jyoti to a new person. Sometimes an outside influence is necessary for someone to discover their own freedom, just as Prakash did for Jasmine. His death symbolized a rebirth for Jyoti into the woman of Jasmine. I learned a lot about myself in this class. The most important and interesting thing I learned is that we are in control of our own future, our own fate, and our own idea of home. I learned that it’s not important what society expects of a person or where your own family claims their homeland. The most important thing in a person’s life is finding true happiness and in order to do that you may have to break the norm and go outside of yourself in order to discover that freedom. Freedom cannot be imposed upon you, it has to be sought after and discovered in order to evoke a true change. In search of this change we must never lose faith in our pursuit because belief can get you halfway towards your reality. I loved the novels we read in class because each story conveyed a different message that I was able to relate to my own life.

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