Jhumpa Lahiri Analysis

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America, the great melting pot, is where people from all over the world come to be accepted and have opportunities to be whoever they want to be. An author praised for her eye-opening works, Jhumpa Lahiri is a Bengali-American author who writes about life as an immigrant in America. Being both Indian and American created a complex identity for Lahiri. She struggled with the competing cultures of assimilation into American culture but keeping her heritage and Bengali roots. Although Jhumpa Lahiri is known for her collection of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies, she was significantly influenced by her family’s heritage and struggle of growing up stuck between two cultures. Lahiri’s early life was defined by immigration. Her parents, Amar…show more content…
Her cultural identity is a mix of influences from America, India, and Britain. Focusing on her Indian culture, her family continued the tradition of giving their child both a”good” name and a “pet” name with her. A good name is a public name people use to non-family members and close friends whereas a pet name is used just for family and family friends. Jhumpa is Lahiri’s pet name which she uses because it is easier to for Americans to pronounce than her good name (“Jhumpa Lahiri” EBSCO; KHANDELWAL). Lahiri’s official name and good name is Nilanjana Sudeshna (“Jhumpa Lahiri” Famous). Growing up stuck between both American and Bengali cultures, Lahiri had to find a way to balance who she is. When visiting her parent's homeland of Calcutta, India, the land exposes her to vast experiences through traditions, large family gatherings, and the Indian community. On the flip side, in America she would be exposed to more individualistic lifestyles along with a sense of creating her own identity. The clash between the two cultures and the hardship of finding a balance between the two forced Lahiri to feel like an outsider in both. A prime example is that in India she was referred to as an American writer but in America as an Indian writer (“Jhumpa Lahiri”
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