Tashi is initially portrayed as a victim in Possessing the Secret of Joy. She feels scarred by the circumcision ritual of her youth and feels both emotionally and physically inadequate. However, it is at the moment when she decides to act and confront M'Lissa about the circumcision that her strength is revealed. She overcomes her trauma and decides to kill M'Lissa in order to prevent other girls from undergoing the same mutilation that she suffered in her youth. Tashi's decision to sacrifice herself in order to save others from her fate demonstrates her courage and determination.
Tashi is essentially caught between different worlds: she has immigrated to the United States from Africa and does not seem to fully identify with either culture. She struggles to connect to her husband who is American-born and fails to understand her roots.