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Analysis Of Lahiri 's The Third And Final Continent

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Memory and Relationships in Lahiri’s The Third and Final Continent
Each piece of diaspora literature is laced with several underlying themes that make themselves visible in unique ways. Memory and family are two of these themes that seem to take root in several pieces. These themes enable the author to add dynamics and depth to anything that they write. A prime example of these dynamics can be found in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Third and Final Continent. Lahiri flawlessly uses both of these themes to bring her writing to the next level. In fact, the relationships, both familial and otherwise, formed in The Third and Final Continent are based heavily on shared memory and routine. Lahiri proves that shared memories play a huge part in
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Luckily, he did not have to overcome his journey alone. Lahiri incorporates his family life in Calcutta with his family life in America. His life in Calcutta was not the best that it could have been, he quite literally watched his mother die. He had to take on a mature role in her passing as he explains that, “and then, because my brother could not bear it, I had assumed the role of the eldest son and had touched the flame to her temple, to release her tormented soul to heaven,” (Lahiri, 5). All of the familial memories associated with Calcutta seem to be very dark and deep in contrast with the familial memories the narrator makes in America. Lahiri most likely did this in an effort to show the bettering and renewal of a life. A very minute detail of this story that resonates deeply would be the narrator’s son. Though he is only mentioned on the last page and not even given a name, he seems to hold a lot of the weight of the story and underlying themes on his back. The son grows up fully in Massachusetts and lives life as a Bengali submerged in an American culture. The narrator grows afraid of his son losing his sense of Bengali pride after the passing of himself and his wife, Mala, and makes it a point to incorporate Bengali tradition into everyday life as much as possible, as shown on page 14: “So we drive to Cambridge to visit him, or bring him home for a weekend, so that he can eat rice with us with his hands, and speak Bengali, things we worry he will no longer do
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