Discuss the following statement:  "Biculturalism pervades Toru Dutt's 'Our Casuarina Tree."

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would be willing to argue that there is a sense of divergent cultures coming together in Dutt's poem.  I am not entirely certain that these are the traditional notions of culture.  Part of what makes Dutt's poem so powerful is that she is able to bring the reader into the culture of the speaker and merge it with the external world.  The tree is symbolic of the universe and the external world.  The recollections that are brought out in the poem are powerfully subjective, internal in their scope and drive in the attempt to bring the past into focus.  The culture clash- the culture of the external world and the internal reveries of the speaker- is where multiple cultures are present.  For Dutt, there has to be a way to bridge both of these cultures, which is why her ending to the poem brings to light how painful "oblivion's curse" can actually be.  It is in this light that Dutt is able to bring together the culture of the personally subjective and the external culture into a realm where experiences are validated, not negated, by both external reality and time.  It is in this light where I can see multiple cultures evident in Dutt's poem.

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