The social values and customs of nations throughout the world differ greatly from one another. When a fictional young women named Uma left America and traveled to India for a family member’s wedding, she discovered these differing customs first hand of America versus India. As she spent time exploring India, she learned more about her true roots and how they differ from her current life in America. Along the way, she developed strong opinions about the differing values of the Indian people and how they compared to those back at home. The main character, Uma, in the short story “Devadasi” by Rishi Redd, experiences examples of gender roles and cultural norms that are unexpected and seem unfair to her throughout her
A person’s heritage and cultural identity may be lost when moving to a new country where the culture is different and other cultures are not easily accepted. In the short story “Hindus”, Bharati Mukherjee uses setting, characters and the plot to discuss what it is like to lose your cultural identity while being a visible minority in America. Mukherjee uses the plot to describe the events that take place in the main characters life that lead her to realize how different the culture and life is in the America’s. She also uses the characters as a way of demonstrating how moving away from one’s culture and heritage can change a person’s perspective and ways of thinking. Mukerjee also uses setting in her story to identity the physical differences in culture between living in India and America. Alike the setting and characters, the plot helps describe the loss of culture with a sequence of events.
The book Interpreter of the Maldives is a collection of short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri that examines the relationship between Indian and American culture. Lahiri does this by using motifs, patterns and themes that recur throughout the short stories. The relationship between the two cultures is not only evident in romantic relationships of Indian-Americans, but in Lahiri’s description of clothing. Lahiri's description of clothing in the short stories, Sexy, This Blessed House and the Third and Final Continent, show how well a character is adapting/accepting American culture.
While Smith and Anzaldua may define identity through a culture or a voice, Jhumpa Lahiri, herself, had a different experience. Rather for Lahiri, she helps the reader
Sunglasses, not only worn for protection from the sun, are also used for other reasons. Some are unrecognizable in sunshades and can even hide their true selves. Ultimately, sunglasses can even hide one’s shame. In Jhumpa Lahiri’s short story, Interpreter of Maladies, Mrs. Das, a major character, is portrayed as a distant woman that searches for romance in all the wrong places. Throughout the story, Mrs. Das rarely removes her sunglasses. The symbol of Mrs. Das’s sunglasses represents the detachment from her own family, the potential bond breaking secrets she hides from them, and the inevitable guilt she feels.
Culture builds up and shapes how people view the world and the people in it. It determines how we judge and view the way others act, look, and even how they think. In the texts “Where worlds collide”, “An Indian Father’s Plea”, and “Two Kinds”, it is shown that a person’s views of others and the world are solely determined by their culture.
Whether it’s living or interacting in a new environment surrounded by unfamiliar and distinct people, one may feel culturally out of place. That is exactly the theme Jhumpa Lahiri describes in each of her stories, “Interpreter of Maladies,” “Mrs. Sen’s,” and “The Third and Final Continent.” In “Interpreter of Maladies”, we get a clear picture that the Das family, who are Indian-American, are the ones displaced here. We can see this throughout the behaviors that the Das family expresses in their trip around India, while Mr. Kapasi, an old Indian man, guides them through their journey, taking them to see India’s historical landmarks. In “Mrs. Sen’s,” the one culturally displaced is Mrs. Sen after being forced to leave India to go to America because of her husband’s job. Mrs. Sen has not gotten used to the American culture and misses her native land very much. Lastly, In “The Third and Final Continent,” the narrator, a young Indian man, handles his displacement very well. Starting with an arranged marriage in which he barely even knows the woman that he is getting married to, he leaves shortly after to establish a living in the U.S. where he finds the culture to be very distinct. Overall, Lahiri expresses the theme of how the characters in each story cope with their cultural displacement facing many obstacles and challenges.
In a relationship, it is common for couples to share the blame for issues that arise. However, through the stories in Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri it becomes clear that there is often one one individual who insights these problems. In “A Temporary Matter”, the main character, Shukumar, is mourning the his child who was stillborn and allowing his insecurities to distance him from his wife, Shoba. The story “Interpreter of Maladies” describe the crisis of a middle aged man, Mr. Kapsi, whose unsupportive marriage causes him to crave the attention of other. In “Sexy”, Miranda finally feels wanted by the man she is seeing, Dev, after years of unsatisfying relationships and continues to stay with him despite him being married to
Indian lawyer, politician, social activist, and writer who became the leader of the nationalist movement against the british rule in India once declared, “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the sole of its people.” This do called culture refers to the characteristics of a group of people, including their cuisine, social habits, religion, music, and art. It seems as if culture influences the way humans learn and live. These practices are important to one’s being because it is the shaper of our own personality, as well as how we behave and think. In the novel The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, Lahiri efficiently describes the difficulties that immigrants have relating their culture, with the distinct American culture
When adapting to a new culture, many find it hard to assimilate into their new world while still holding on to their past life. Finding yourself in a new place with a new language and unfamiliar faces is challenging for immigrants. Jhumpa Lahiri, an immigrant herself, sheds some light on the Indian culture in her book, Interpreter of Maladies. She conveys many challenges that immigrants face when moving away from their homeland in a myriad of short stories. These short stories introduce similar themes of immigration and adaptation through different experiences. Two of Lahiri’s short stories, “A Temporary Matter” and “Mrs. Sens”, do a great job in showing similar challenges of cultural differences in two different ways. They introduce characters
Interpreter of Maladies is just one of the many short stories written by Jhumpa Lahiri. Interpreter of Maladies is the story of an American family and an Indian tour guide, Mr. Kapasi. Driving from location to location, Mr. Kapasi revealed his second job as a translator of symptoms of patients who speak a different language than the doctor. Mrs. Das declared his job romantic. Mr. Kapasi became smitten with the woman because he himself suffered from a broken marriage. Seeking help from Mr.Kapasi, Mrs. Das wanted a remedy for her malady; therefore, Mrs. Das admitted that her middle child wasn’t conceived by her husband. However, Mr. Kapasi could not find a solution to her problem. He could only diagnose her with the feeling of guilt. There
One way Lahiri shows difficulties that immigrants and refugees experience, is with the theme of displacement. To illustrate the idea of displacement, Lahiri uses Mrs. Sens to show the what immigrants have trouble adjusting to in a new environment. Mrs. Sens is a middle-aged, Indian woman, who is having difficulty adjusting to the differences between India and America. Lahiri emphasizes the awkward attitude that Mrs. Sens has towards driving. When asked about her driver’s licence, Mrs. Sens points out “Yes, I am learning, but I am a slow student. At home, you know we have a driver” (113). To put it differently, Mrs. Sens finds it odd and difficult that she has to learn driving because back in India, she had a chauffeur. Furthermore, when she says she is a slow
In Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ Mr. Kapasi , the main character, seems to be a person with mixed feelings. He does not seem to have fixed stand neither in his job nor on his thoughts. His thoughts and experience are structured by the strict cultural society of India. His hidden wants and desires suppressed by the community rules are looking for way to come out. The consequence is his changing thoughts and desires which at different parts of the story appear differently and brings
Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth is comprised of eight short stories about different Indian families’ struggles in America, many of them going through the immigrant experience. The conflicts are with friends and family, and also with themselves, as each of them attempt to find their own identity along with fitting in with the rest of society. One of the causes of these struggles that because the families in the stories are mixed in terms of generation. Many of the adults in the stories were first generation immigrants from India, while many of the children were raised in the United States, which is the second generation. This led to blending of culture and at the same time, clashes between the immigrant mentality of living and the American mentality of living. In Unaccustomed Earth, Lahiri demonstrates to the reader the important influence of environment, specifically culture and how it impacts parental teachings, on the personality and development of an individuals’ identity, and how the actions and development of characters can affect one’s family and friends; the impact of environment and culture is shown especially by the characters and stories “Hell-Heaven” and “Hema and Kaushik”.
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.