The Value of Multicultural and Transnational Literature Assignment

The Value of Multicultural and Transnational Literature


The Value of Multicultural and Transnational Literature

Multicultural and transnational literature is literature that crosses over multiple cultures nations, coming from diverse authors and giving readers of a different culture a chance to experience a different culture. It serves a window into something different for the reader to experience and learn from, whether learning about a new culture or new literary techniques. It is important, not only to open people up to new cultures but to give voices to minorities as well, which is what multicultural literature does the best.

The Value of Studying Multicultural Literature

Because multicultural literature gives a voice to those who may not have a voice, multicultural literature is important to study because it gives the reader a chance to learn about something they may not be aware of. A person who is not a member of the African American community may know about the issues of poverty and oppression in the community, but may not know much about colorism or gender issues. When reading Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, they will be exposed to many of the inner community issues that someone who isn’t in the community may not know about. This also applies to the plight of immigrants, something that someone who is a native of their own country may not understand. Writers like Bharati Mukherjee uses their experience as an immigrant to give a voice to female immigrants in a Western country, letting people learn about issues they wouldn’t know about (Baym, 2012). Once people are aware of these issues, they come to respect and understand them more, respecting the struggle they deal with to move to a completely foreign country.

The Value of Representation

Another reason transnational and multicultural literature is so important is because representation is incredibly important. Many people want to connect to the characters present in a story and sometimes struggle to do this when the characters don’t reflect them or their culture. This is why multicultural literature is important, it gives people from every culture a chance to not only see themselves but to see others. By seeing someone’s culture from their point of view, the reader would get the chance to understand their culture, understand the issues they face, and respect the struggles they deal with. They also realize that there may be similarities between the different cultures, and learn to respect them once they realize they aren’t all that different after all. Lack of respect for other cultures is usually stemming from a lack of understanding and knowledge about a different culture, so this helps to allow others to understand and connect to different people and cultures.

Aspects of Transnational Literature

While learning about different cultures is a very important part of multicultural literature, experiencing new and unique writing styles is another great element. Getting to view multiple techniques helps allow aspiring writers like me to learn new ideas and develop different techniques. Author Jhumpa Lahiri is an example of an author who uses a different writing technique when contributing to multicultural literature. Lahiri’s writing turns her plot into a puzzle and gives the reader different pieces as they read her work, having to piece together the smaller elements of the plot in order to get the entire plot. Her short story Sexy is a prime example of this, where it jumps around between the story of Laximi’s cousin, Miranda’s flashbacks, her the present with her affair and how she deals with the affair. It seems like it’s all over the place but it comes together at some point, this point being when Rohin tells Miranda his version of sexy and she realizes the word coming from her lover was essentially useless and that her affair was similar to the affair that Laximi’s cousin’s husband is having, and it all makes sense.


In conclusion, multicultural and transnational literature is incredibly important for a multitude of reasons. It serves a purpose for representation for those who may not see themselves in classic literature, it allows people to learn about other cultures and develop a sense of respect for them as well as teaching them about cultural elements they may not be aware of and showcases different and unique literary techniques. Without multicultural literature and authors like Toni Morrison, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Bharati Mukherjee, many minority voices wouldn’t be heard and understood. It is incredibly important and will always be extremely valuable.


Baym, N., Levine, R. S., & Franklin, W. (2012). The Norton Anthology of American Literature (8th ed.). Retrieved from[;vnd.vst.idref=Vol_D_xhtml_725]!/4/2/2/2/2/[email protected]:0.00.

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