Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri Essay
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"Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri
Through her tasteful selection of contemporary Indian influenced prose pieces, Jhumpa Lahiri traces the unique journey of Indian families established in America. Focusing on the intergenerational aspect of traditional households, Lahiri conveys the emotional rollercoaster that accompanies a person who is branded as a foreigner. In America, there exists a common misconception that immigrants who arrive in this country fully assimilate or seek to assimilate as time progresses. The category I chose was "The Dot of true Happiness." The dot which signifies the bindi, a traditional red mark worn by Indian people, is the source of true happiness among these immigrants.
Although these newly arrived…show more content…
Similarly, in the piece "When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine," a young girl observes and appreciates from a far a family friend who recently arrived from India. It is evident that in a short period of time he has assimilated to the everyday American lifestyle. He has an established career as a professor and is invited to dinner parties on a regular basis by the Lilia's family. Yet this supposed success through assimilation is not where Mr, Pirzada finds satisfaction. Although his family is suffering in Dacca after a war time crisis, Pirzada is still able to find some sort of satisfaction at Lilia's house as he participates in Indian influenced activities. He plays a round of carom with the family, and chews on fennel seeds, as he experiences moments of happiness among the thoughts of the death of his family back home.
Although stories like these are obvious in their presentation of the nostalgia
Which induces comfort among immigrants, other selections display this in a more subtle and intricate manner. The two pieces, "The Treatment of Bibi Haldar" and "The Third and Final Continent" both compare and contrast the role marriage plays within the Indian and American communities by observing a transnational couple and a young woman in India who longs to be married.
In the story "The Treatment of Bibi Haldar", a twenty-nine year
Essay Topic 1
Discuss how the "telling game" was used to further both the plot and the themes of "A Temporary Matter."
Essay Topic 2
How is the baby in "A Temporary Matter" a metaphor for the marriage of Shoba and Shukumar?
Essay Topic 3
What commentary on American life is Lahiri making through the plots and characters of her collection of stories?
Essay Topic 4
Feeling like an outsider is a recurring theme in the stories. Discuss this theme and how is shown using aspects of three or more of the stories in The Interpreter of Maladies.
Essay Topic 5
Many of the character in The Interpreter of Maladies has a misconception about someone that leads to unhappiness or harm. Discuss this theme using several of the characters and circumstances from the stories.
Essay Topic 6
Discuss the theme of individuals in warring countries growing closer while their governments grow apart in "When...
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