May 25, 2024

Sahar Jamshideyan

Academic rank: Assistant Professor
Education: M.Sc in علوم انسانی
Faculty: Literature and Human Sciences


Title The chronotope of third space in Bharati Mukherjee’s “The Management of Grief”
Type Article
Bharati Mukherjee’s “The Management of Grief”, Mikhail Bakhtin, perspective, dialogism, chronotope, third space, diaspora
Journal Cogent Arts & Humanities
Researchers Sahar Jamshideyan


In this article, we have focused on the narrative features and cinematic techniques of Bharati Mukherjee’s short story “The Management of Grief” to examine the construction of identity in “the third space” in the age of immigration. The narrator-focalizer, Shaila Bhave, who has just lost her husband and two sons in the terrorist attack on the Air India, tells her story in the form of a diary with each part written at a distinct moment in time; as a result, the narrating “I” of each section is different from other parts, providing an opportunity for self-improvement. Shaila’s perspective, however, is not the only one in the story and irreconcilable perspectives and worldviews are revealed through dialogues. These perspectives and the dialogic nature of the story can help readers discern three governing chronotopes (time-space), that is, the chronotope of homeland, the host country and the third space, typical of most diasporic narratives. Analysis of the chronotopes and the cinematic features of the story would enhance one’s understanding of Shaila’s quest for identity and her maturation from a naive self-confident person to someone who is aware of the instability of her identity in the third space. Mukherjee’s dialogic story, then, deftly throws into high relief the dialogic nature of human identity, offering “dialogue” with others and with one’s selves as a way of “managing” humanity’s “grief.”