In Mukherjee’s novel Jasmine, there are many similarities between her and Jane from Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Both women on their own, they are strong and independent. Jasmine and Jane are both on a journey for family, love, and a normal happy life. Jasmine and Jane are strong characters, leaving what they have behind, and fearlessly jumping into the unknown. Jasmine leaves for America shortly after her husband Prakash is killed, continuing on the path that she and her husband were to share. She does not worry that she will be alone, or that she is leaving her own Indian culture behind. On Jasmine’s first night in America, she is raped by a man she calls Half-Face. This startling first glimpse at America could have easily broken Jasmine, but her braveness is shown when she kills Half-Face, and continues on her way. Jasmine takes each negative part of her pilgrimage to America and puts it into making her stronger and more independent. Jane is equally strong as Jasmine, not letting herself be broken down by what comes her way. When Jane is just a young orphan girl, moving place to place, she is not apprehensive about the next step or the next place she will be. Jane is willing to be on her own and be free from the binding of others. When Jane leaves Rochester and is out on the streets alone, she has nowhere to go and nothing to eat. She is even forced to beg for food, and sleep in the woods. Jane persists through the hard times, showing her independence and bravery. Jane proves to be a strong woman, which Jasmine also exemplifies throughout the novel. This is our first glimpse at how Jane’s character could be molded into a more modern Jasmine.
This introduction paragraph is from my fall exam essay comparing the characters of Jane Eyre and Jane’s modern character Jasmine. I was very proud of my essay after completing it because I wasn’t sure how well organized or well communicated it would be since I was under a time limitation, and I usually spend more time thinking out what I would like to say. I like to take my time and am naturally someone who doesn’t like to work under pressure so that part was a challenge for me.
The reason I believe I was able to write a concise as well as specific essay comparing these two women was because this was my favorite pair of books that we read. I thought the books were really interesting, and I was especially surprised that I liked Jane Eyre because I had tried to read it once before but never got into it enough to get to the good part. I made a connection to these two similar stories of these two women and responded to the writing styles of both Bronte and Mukherjee. My connection in this piece of writing not only came from the connection to the characters and the story and how much I enjoyed reading these two works that made this essay easier to write, but also the connection between Jane and Jasmine. Out of the visions and revisions pairs that the class has studied this year, in my opinion these two characters were the most enjoyable to line up together.
Because these stories interested me so much, I was able to draw from that to make better connections between characters. Both characters are driven by similar things, similar backgrounds, and are working towards a similar goal which make my strongest argument for how these women are connected. To further prove that I understood the connection between Jane and Jasmine, my details and specific events backed up my claims and gave concrete examples drawn from each book instead of just having an idea not clearly supported by the evidence within the books. This pair of books was when I actually understood the title of the class, and made me enjoy it even more.