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Clash Between Traditional Indian Values And Globalization

2494 words - 10 pages

The Inheritance of Loss by Indian author Kiran Desai and Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter
of Maladies Kiran Desai (Desai) and Jhumpa Lahiri (Lahiri) are of Indian descent. However, they
have lived much of their lives away from the Indian sub-continent. One might be tempted to
think that their novel and short stories would be dominated by elements of Western culture,
tradition, and thought. Rather, the reverse is true in their novels. Indian tradition, culture, and
thought is prevalent in their literary works. Desai and Lahiri do not impose their opinions or
views on the readers, but they illustrate the differences that occur or can occur between
cultures, and within the same culture without criticizing either the culture of the west or the
culture of the east. Inheritance of Loss (Loss) has several themes present, however, in this
essay, the theme of globalization that Desai critiques will be the essay’s main focus along
with the theme of being caught in-between Indian culture and Western culture in Interpreter
of Maladies (Maladies). Both Desai and Lahiri do not advocate the greatness of the Indian
culture or condemn western culture totally. This paper will argue that though both works
defend traditional values that one is brought up with since birth; to a large extent, both
novels encourage the readers to have “myriad perspectives” or multiple identities when they
are stuck in an awkward situation where one is unable to choose between the culture that one
is brought up with and the new culture that confronts one when he / she moves abroad in
search of greener pastures. Globalization is a phenomena that is very prominent in the world
today. Therefore, this essay will look at the both the negative and positive aspects of
globalization using the issues and or circumstances that are present in both Loss and
Maladies. In order to effectively analyse the above-mentioned thesis; this paper will look
more closely at the character Biju from Loss and two short stories from Maladies: A Real
Durwan, and The Third and Final Continent.
In Loss, Desai … “tries to capture what it means to live between the East and West
and what it means to be an immigrant.” (Desai) Biju is not from an affluent family in India,
therefore, he goes to New York (N.Y.) in an attempt to improve not only his life but also his
family’s life back home in India. After all, the United States (U.S.) is the “promise land” for
so many people from third-world countries who believe that they will have a better life
after working in America. However, the opposite is true for most people. Even though they
earn more than what they would be earning back home, the lives that they lead while working
in the U.S. is not very desirable even by...

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