Analysis of "American Dreamer"
Bharati Mukherjee (1) identifies herself as not an Asian-American, but as a "naturalized U.S. citizen" who views the country as "the stage for the drama of self-transformation." Born into a traditional Hindu family, Mukherjee (1) regarded her identity û to the degree that she considered this construct û as "fixed, derived from religion, caste, patrimony, and mother tongue." Until she came to Iowa City, Iowa to spend what was supposed to be two years studying creative writing, Mukherjee (1) expected that her identity as described above would remain largely fixed. She also anticipated that she would return to India and marry the man chosen for her by her father, as was the custom of her country, caste, and family.
This did not occur and instead Mukherjee (2) married a Canadian, lived in Canada for 14 years, and eventually "forced" her husband and their sons to relocate to the United States. Throughout her article, Mukherjee (2) emphasizes that she takes her American citizenship seriously and that she is pleased to be a citizen of a nation that is unique in that it is home to an increasingly diverse and multicultural group of people who struggle to realize a vital ideal in the form of equality.
However, Mukherjee (3) recognizes that America has not yet achieved this ideal. She is concerned with the fact that many non-white American minorities suffer from a forced hyphenation identifying them as African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and so forth. Though she has been criticized by some of the other Indians living in the United States as a race traitor because she rejected a dual claim of identity, she is convinced that "by becoming a U.S. citizen and exercising my voting rights, I have invested in the present and not in the past (4)."
The central thesis addressed by Mukherjee (4) is that America has the potential to transform individuals and that America itself has ...