Bharati Mukherjee’s “An Invisible Woman” is a critique on Canadian racism. Specifically, she alludes in her work to her perception that the Canadian attitude towards immigrants from South Asia, especially women, were growing more intolerant while she lived in the country. Her position comes from her personal account of what took place in her life and how being a person of a different culture made her to be the subject of racist attitudes. Mukherjee is able to create a first-person account of the results of being of a different race in Canada because she was born in India and moved to the United States. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.] She would later immigrate to Canada, where she found the level of racism to be too intolerable, and so she returned to the U.S. Mukherjee’s experience in Canada was intolerable due to the fact that she was the subject of racism, and this made her leave the country, and this shows that at the time Canada wasn’t the multicultural and accepting country that it claimed to be. Because of this first-person account, it brings credibility to the research, and the use of the author’s outside interviews adds a new level of credibility that makes it an important piece for those interested in Canadian politics, and those who are also immigrants. It is through the personal account that draws the reader and makes the care about what happens in the story, and it is through the author’s research that brings credibility to the story and leaves the reader feeling informed, rather than just feeling they only heard a harsh opinion on race relations in Canada.
Her story shows the torn identities of herself, who is a South Asian. It also shows the cultural tensions that led to her bad experiences, and this type account helps draw in the reader, many of whom are likely immigrants themselves and have experienced similar situations. She takes a position against the idea of there being the possibility of being a successful individual, and this is shown when she say “Our girls can take their places with the best anywhere in the world,’ Mother John-Baptist, the headmistress, had promised my father on my first day of school. (And we have, all over India and the English-speaking, even German-speaking, world.) On a sticky August night in 1961, when my younger sister … and I, on my way to the University of Iowa, left by Air India for New York, I felt that I could,” (329).
Mukherjee establishes for the reader her perspectives, and this helps the audience gain an idea of the feelings behind the story. The piece is largely driven by opinions and perspectives, and this makes it interesting also for people who haven’t experienced being considered a foreigner, because it sheds light on the situation. That is a very useful technique by Mukherjee to appeal to a wider audience. As she explains, despite her living in many countries, including India, Great Britain, the U.S. and Canada, it is Canada that is the most racist of them all. Startling remarks such as that help keep the reader’s interest, as Canada has considered itself a leader in immigration.
In the essay, the author uses a first-person narrative style to write the essay, and this is held throughout the piece. She gains the audience’s attention by telling a story of her experience, and the fact that the story is so descriptive draws the reader in. Essentially, Mukherjee gives a broad account of what was going on inside of her head throughout her experience in the various countries. This makes the story less visual, and more of a thinker’s story. It especially relates to people who are of different cultural backgrounds than Canadians who were born in the nation. This is because they can relate their own experiences to those that were experienced by Mukherjee. She is very forward in her descriptions, and doesn’t let political correctness hold her back: “
Mukherjee is also effective in her story by utilizing interviews she conducted with Pakistani and Indian people who are from various parts of Canada. The fact that they live in different areas of the nation is a good researching technique, because Mukherjee is writing an account of the racial perspective throughout Canada, and not just one area. While she can attest to her specific experience in the areas that she inhabited, it is not possible for her to make a blanket statement for Canada’s race relations without researching the rest of the country. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.] By doing this, Mukherjee ended the paper discussing some of the experiences others have had in relation to race in Canada, while at the beginning of the essay she was more focused on her personal experience with race relations. However, she ties the two experiences together in her analysis. She says both her and her friends had a shared promise, and while some have stayed to work with the various levels of government, others have fought, and others, like her, have left.
Mukherjee, Bharati, “An Invisible Woman.” Landmarks: A process Reader. Roberta Birks, Tomi
Eng, and Julie Walchli, eds. Scarborough, ON: Prentice-Hall, 1998. 324-331. (Orig. 1981)