Interpreter Of Maladies Analysis

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Jhumpa Lahiri’s book, Interpreter of Maladies, is composed of nine short stories, all of which have similar subject matter. One major theme which appears throughout the book is the difficulty of assimilation. Some characters, such as Mrs. Sen from the short story ”Mrs. Sen’s”, refuse to assimilate and face unhappy lives due to this, while other characters, such as Eliot from “The Third and Final Continent”, accept the new culture, grow, and appreciate the new opportunities given to them. Another major theme which appears throughout the book is marriage. Some of the stories are concerned with unhappy marriages, such as “A Temporary Matter,” whereas other stories, such as “The Third and Final Continent,” are more romantic; couples are happily married. Due to the combination of realism and romanticism found in Interpreter of Maladies, this book is a fantastic example of romantic realism. Overall, the meaning of Interpreter of Maladies is that life is full of unexpected sadness as well as happiness. In the short story, “Mrs. Sen’s,” one of the main characters, Mrs. Sen, refuses to assimilate with American culture and ultimately finds herself unhappy because of this. She immigrated from India to New England with her husband and she longs to return. When Eliot and his mother first meet Mr. and Mrs. Sen, the mention of India visibly effects Mrs. Sen. Eliot and his mother can see how she wishes to return to her home. It is made apparent that Mrs. Sen refuses to assimilate when she says, “Everything is there [India].” Mrs. Sen treasures the objects she has from India, such as the curved blade which she uses to carve vegetables and the tape which her family recorded. Although she may have new opportunities living in New Englan... ... middle of paper ... ...sitive note. The narrator explains that he feels like the months following these events, in which they explored the city together, were their honeymoon. The narrator explains that they now have a son who is attending Harvard. While passing Mrs. Croft’s street, Mala and the narrator find themselves amazed that they were ever strangers. The story ends with the narrator marveling at the distance he has traveled in his life. In Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri’s message to the reader is that life is full of unexpected sadness and happiness. The difficulty of assimilation is one major theme used to convey this message, as we can see in the short stories such as “Mrs. Sen’s.” Marriage is also a major theme used to show the unexpected sadness and happiness which occurs in life, such as in the short story “A Temporary Matter” or “The Third And Final Continent.”
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