From Jyoti to Jasmine, and every name in between, Mukherjee shows how even in America an individual has to experience a death of selves and the reincarnation that ensues.
Mukherjee displays aspects of pride through her description of Du; she suggests her son makes her proud because of their shared struggle. Jasmine or Jane, advertises the strengths of her son when she articulates, adamantly, that Du is a product of his environment. He preforms well in school because “He has always trained with live ammo, without a net, with no multiple choice. No guesswork: only certain knowledge or silence. Once upon a time, like me, he was someone else. We’ve been many selves. We’ve survived hideous times” (214). The sense of shared survival, especially through extraneous adversity, reminds me of course-long themes. The feeling of self and sense of identity go along with the experiences we endure, ultimately defining who we become. Jasmine and Du, through an arduous and “hideous” experience, have become hardened, resilient, and redeemable characters (214). Mukherjee illustrates homelands because I believe sense of self, being defined by the survival of difficult experiences, correlates with how individuals address their home and mirror themselves.