"Interpreter Of Maladies" By Jhumpa Lahiri

1888 words - 8 pages

Mina's SecretIn "Interpreter of Maladies," Jhumpa Lahiri uses Mina Das's red outfit as a way to represent an unfaithful woman, who is disconnected from her roots, and has fallen out of love with life. Her guilt from keeping a secret that one of her children is not from her husband, but from an affair, has caused her to act in a very distant and uncaring way. Through the family's visit to the Sun Temple, and the hills at Udayagiri and Khandagiri in India, accompanied by Mr. Kapasi, a Gujarati interpreter for a doctor and part-time tour guide, the author paints a picture of a woman who has grown cold and disconnected from her feelings. Because of the events that happened on this trip to her native land, she may have come to realize the error of her ways.Mrs. Das's clothes have a symbolic meaning. She wore a red checked skirt and a blouse. "The blouse was decorated at chest level with a calico appliqué in the shape of a strawberry" (256). The design on her shirt may not mean anything to her. It is probably just for looks, but I think it does represent something about who she is. The color red is often considered to represent sex or lust. In this case, knowing about her infidelity, it makes sense that the strawberry may represent a marking similar to the scarlet letter. It also alludes to the fact that even though she is of Indian decent, she really is an American. I'm sure the way she is dressed is not very common for an Indian woman in India.Mrs. Das consistently showed irresponsible and negligent behavior toward her children. In one example, the couple bickered about who would take their daughter Tina to the bathroom. After this short pause in their trip, Mr. Kapasi locked the doors to make sure that it was safe to get going again. "As soon as the car began to move again, the little girl began to play with the lock on her side, clicking it with some effort forward and backward, but Mrs. Das said nothing to stop her. She sat slouched at one end of the back seat, not offering her puffed rice to anyone" (257). She was either not aware of the danger or she just didn't care.As they left on their way to the Sun Temple, the children spotted monkeys and were very excited because they had never seen monkeys outside of a zoo. Mr. Das asked to stop the car so that he could take a picture. "While Mr. Das adjusted his telephoto lens, Mrs. Das reached into her straw bag and pulled out a bottle of colorless nail polish, which she preceded to stroke on the tip of her index finger" (258). While Mr. Das and the two boys were fascinated by the sites, she is more consumed with herself. It is also apparent that her uncaring behavior is rubbing off on her daughter. At this same time, the little girl wanted to get her nails done too. When Mrs. Das refused, "the little girl occupied herself by buttoning and unbuttoning a pinafore on her doll's plastic body" (258). In this situation, the little girl was just as disinterested as her mother.It did not seem that Mrs....

Find Another Essay On "Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri

Close Reading Analysis of The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

1398 words - 6 pages cultural future. Without women and the ritualistic tradition of motherhood, the future of a culture lacks certainty and stability. In her novel, The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri offers a new approach to the often unquestioned maternal instinct, highlighting a silent outcry for a woman's much needed sense of self, apart from domestic impulse.Lahiri awakens readers to the belief and realization that some women lead deprived lives, capping their actual desires

Once in a Lifetime, by Jhumpa Lahiri

1781 words - 7 pages “Like many immigrant offspring I felt intense pressure to be two things, loyal to the old world and fluent in the new, approved of on either side of the hyphen” (Lahiri). Jhumpa Lahiri, a Pulitzer Prize winner, describes herself as Indian-American, where she feels she is neither an Indian nor an American (Lahiri). Lahiri feels alienated by struggling to live two lives by maintaining two distinct cultures. Lahiri’s most of the work is recognized

Cultural Differences as Described by Jhumpa Lahiri

674 words - 3 pages The greatest obstacle faced by people from different cultures is the difference in what they value. Some cultures value religious customs and tradition while others value freedom and individuality. It is sometimes hard for people from different cultures to form relationships when they don't have the same idea of what is right and what is wrong. Jhumpa Lahiri, describes many of these obstacles in the book titled, Interpreter of Maladies.In the

The Namesake: Book by Jhumpa lahiri

1322 words - 5 pages the book, shows the common things that people go through when migrating from a familiar place to the States and how difficult it is to adjust when you want to keep past traditions. I’m still sticking with my original opinion that I tend to think that books are better portrayed than movies, but this one was a close call. Works Cited Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Namesake. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003. Print. The Namesake. Dir. Mira Nair. Prod. Mira Nair and Lydia Dean Pilcher. By Sooni Taraporevala. Perf. Kal Penn, Tabu , and Irrfan Khan. Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2007.

Gogol's True Identity in The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

836 words - 4 pages Sometimes religion can be a necessity for comfort. Over time, we may already possess our very own identities and then develop different ones after a tragedy. In order to easily move on from a plight, some sort of comfort or security is needed, whether its time, family, friends, a sport, or religion. In the novel, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, one can clearly see the viewpoint of how Gogol’s life over time has evolved from American to Bengali

Intertwined Cultures in the Writings of Jhumpa Lahiri

1757 words - 7 pages attributed to the changing of attitudes in America. Our history and present is laden with the accounts of immigrants. Their perspectives are fresh and bursting with talent. Jhumpa Lahiri, a female Bengali author, gained prominence after she was listed in the 1999 edition of the “Top 20 Under 40”. That same year, her collection of short stories “Interpreter of Maladies” was published, and went on to sell millions of copies worldwide. Lahiri in particular

Interpreter of Maladies

767 words - 3 pages like a father to me. He always instructs and teaches me how to live my life as a garbage man, and to take care of the city from the trash/rubbish and build it nice and clean.My father worked as a farmer and my mother didn't have any job, so she was sitting in the house and taking care of me and my sister. I completed my high school degree at Richard Warren high school but with low marks, so I was unable to go to any university because I didn't have

Diasporic Consciousness: A Comparative Study of Jhumpa Lahiri and Kiran Desai

2662 words - 11 pages side travels to be a servant and the other side travels to be treated like a king. Jhumpa Lahiri, on the other hand, has completely neglected the trauma of illegal immigrants, their efforts to acquire that holy of holies- an elusive Green card and the exploitation of Indian in the host country. Though the question of identity and homelessness are raised throughout in these novels, their treatment is marked by striking contrasts. The dilemma of

Indian-American Identity

990 words - 4 pages “Like many immigrant offspring I felt intense pressure to be two things, loyal to the old world and fluent in the new, approved of on either side of the hyphen” (Lahiri, My Two lives). Jhumpa Lahiri, a Pulitzer Prize winner, describes herself as Indian-American, where she feels she is neither an Indian nor an American. Lahiri feels alienated by struggling to live two lives by maintaining two distinct cultures. Lahiri’s most of the work is

Differences Between Human Need and Human Want

1077 words - 4 pages of Maladies,” to highlight the key roles that emotional connections play in human fulfillment, consequently bringing to light the repercussions of compensating for emotional deficits driven by a thirsty heart. Works Cited Lahiri, Jhumpa. "Interpreter of Maladies." Perrine's Story and Structure. By Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson. Boston, MA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2012. 83-101. Print.


960 words - 4 pages lives in “a university apartment located on the fringes of the Work Cited Awadalla, Maggie and Russell, Paul. The postcolonial short story: contemporary essays. Hound mills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Web. 9 March, 2014. Lahiri, Jhumpa. Interpreter of Maladies. Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1999. Print.

Similar Essays

Mrs. Sen's Displacement In America: "Interpreter Of Maladies" By Jhumpa Lahiri

1372 words - 5 pages The short story, "Mrs. Sen's", by Jhumpa Lahiri, tells the experiences of Mrs. Sen, an Indian Bengali housewife, who has unhappily immigrated from Calcutta, India to the United states, due to her husbands profession. She is married to Mr. Sen, who spends the majority of his time at his work place as a mathematics professor at an American University. As a result, Mrs. Sen decides to become a babysitter for an 11-year-old- boy, named Eliot, as a

The Namesake By Jhumpa Lahiri Essay

1227 words - 5 pages The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri Jhumpa Lahiri in The Namesake illustrates the assimilation of Gogol as a second generation American immigrant, where Gogol faces the assimilation of becoming an American. Throughout the novel, Gogol has been struggling with his name. From kindergarten to college, Gogol has questioned the reason why he was called Nikhil when he was a child, to the reason why he was called Gogol when he was in college. Having a

The Namesake By Jhumpa Lahiri Essay

2267 words - 9 pages The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri Living in America, the Ganguli’s have the difficult choice of choosing between two dramatically different cultures. As a second generation

The Namesake By Jhumpa Lahiri Essay

1623 words - 6 pages The Namesake, presents the life of Ashima Ganguli, who has been transported from India to America with grace and compassion. This story by Jhumpa Lahiri, is an allegory establishing an identity with using symbolic meaning between two cultures that intersect. The themes throughout the story refer to immigrant experiences, the conflict of cultures, the contrast of assimilation and the connection between generations. The Namesake, opens the