An Analysis of Hell-Heaven by Jhumpa Lahiri

Decent Essays
Henny Betancourt
Jennifer Williams
English 1301
Love, generations, cultures, and family are the main theme to talk about in shorts stories, and in the story of “Hell-Heaven” by Jhumpa Lahiri, that is not the exception. However, it is an unusual and very enjoyable story where readers can identify themselves with it because the main characters are common people who have the same problems as many of us. If I have to summarize the story in one sentence, I can say that it describes the experiences of people who come from other cultures to the USA, and it is nuanced with an impossible love to make it more interesting and real. Also, the author divided the different parts of it with four important events which mark the transition
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Then some people can think how is possible that a mother and a daughter can have so different cultures, and the answer is very simple, our society makes us. Although we can be taught in our houses, we are more likely to follow the fashion than the traditions. Therefore, the event that ends this period of time was the Thanksgiving’s dinner in Deborah and Kaku’s house where she felt so out of place when she said, “I was furious with my mother for making a scene before we left the house and forcing me to wear a shalwar kameez” (6). This is just another evidence of how little smart was the behavior of her mother towards her. Finally, the last period of time of the story is in the present, and the last event that marks the end is when Kaku got divorce from Deborah twenty three years after they met each other in order to go with another Bengali married woman, so the consequence was that two whole families were destroyed. On the other hand, the daughter and her mother made peace just until both got an agreement about to respect each other lives. The author refers to this in the following sentences when Usha said, “She had accepted the fact that I was not only her daughter but a child of America as well” (8). In addition, we discovered how strong was the love that Boudi felt for Kaku just in the last minute when she confesses
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