Geographically, the story begins in India and takes off from Europe to America, where it recoils back and onward from Florida through New York to proceed to Iowa. Born in India, Jyoti is the most beautiful and clever in the family. She is seen against the milieu of the rigid and masculine Indian society in which her life is controlled and dominated by her father and brothers who record female as shadows. (Jas- 46)
However, Jyoti seeks a modern and educated husband who keeps no faith in dowries and traditions, Prakash. Prakash encourages Jyoti to study English, and symbolically gives Jyoti a new name Jasmine, and a new life. (Jas- 77)
Her transformation start from a village girl under the shell of her father and brothers to a wife of an American husband who gives her all freedoms. Her happiness is short-lived as she is widowed and returns to India to her family. Jasmine sets off on an agonizing trip as an illegal immigrant to Florida, and thus begins her symbolic trip of transformations, displacement, and a search for identity.
Jasmine undergoes her next transformation from a dutiful traditional Indian wife Jasmine to Jase when she meets the intellectual Taylor and then moves on to become Bud‟s Jane. It seems likely that as Jasmine leaves for California with Taylor and Duff, her identity continues to transform. The author depicts this transformation and transition as a positive and an optimistic journey.
In Jasmine, journey is a metaphor that advocates the ever-moving, regenerating process of life itself. In India, as Jyoti, Jasmine is seen against the backdrop of the rigid and patriarchal Indian society. In America, her self-awareness is reflected in the relationships with Bud, Taylor, and Du. However, her first husband Prakash initiates her transformation from traditional Jyoti to confident liberated American women, Jane.
Bharati Mukherjee’s Jasmine (March 2013) - A Paradigm of Psychic Disintegration and Regeneration