I am presenting my essay on Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s poem “Yuba City School.” This poem details the account of an Immigrant mother and son from India who are dealing with the cultural differences faced in their new American home.
Many of Divakaruni’s poems are about immigrant experiences. Divakaruni is an immigrant from India who draws from her own personal experiences to write her poetry. “Yuba City School” is a poem that captures the darkness that encompasses the situations immigrants face. From the first to the last stanza, Divakaruni chronicles the hardships Jagjit and his mother must tackle. The isolation and discrimination they encounter makes them feel alone and hopeless without support in a new country.
The universal theme in the poem is about immigrant struggles to find identity in a foreign country. This theme surfaces in the stanzas presented. The poems setting opens with Jagjit’s mom retrieving her only American skirt from her trunk at home. It shifts to her son sitting in the Yuba City School. The mood of the poem is that of anxiety and despair. An element of uneasiness makes the reader feel uncomfortable. Divakaruni uses, similes, metaphors, personification, and symbols. The rhyme scheme is abc in the first stanza, abcdefg in the second stanza, alternating back to two abc’s ending in the last stanza with abcdefg. None of the words rhyme. Perhaps the author wishes the reader slow down in order to understand its meaning. The first stanza describes Jagjits mother salvaging her only “American blue skirt” out of her “black trunk”. Here Divakaruni is using color to convey a message. The color blue can represent conservatism or modernism in contrast to the bright colors worn in her country of India. In this stanza, the setting changes and focuses on her son Jagjit. He is described as sitting in school assigned to the back next to the Mexican children and a special needs child clearly representing a type of...
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