Interpreter of Maladies Essay

1089 Words Aug 11th, 2012 5 Pages
Lahiri’s stories show the importance of communication in relationships. Discuss.

Interpreter of Maladies focuses on communication as one of the universal themes throughout the book. The stories demonstrate how communication is the key to the success or failure of relationships. While there are instances when communication is effectively employed and therefore enabled the characters to build strong and intimate connections, there are examples of where communication was superficial or ineffectual, leading to unstable, limited relationships. Jhumpa Lahiri illustrates the importance of communication within relationships by allowing readers to experience the consequences and advantages that have developed as a result throughout the short
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Kapasi and Mrs. Das are incapable of reaching a true friendship because they are anxious to openly speak with each other. Mrs. Das’ confession has unrealistic expectations and was not used as a way of mutually exchanging ideas or building a relationship, but rather using Mr. Kapasi to interpret her maladies and gain forgiveness. Communication can become miscommunication if both individuals are not aligned in their expectations of the conversation.

In A Temporary Matter, the breakdown of Shukumar and Shoba’s relationship is based purely on their discretion to communicate with one other. After the stillbirth of the baby, both Shukumar and Shoba begin to adopt changes in their habits. Shoba becomes evidently more distant, while Shukumar undertakes cooking in order to demonstrate his care for Shoba.
It was confessing their secrets during the blackouts that became their main form of communication, and eventually their safe place. Although this served temporarily to build intimacy between them, it was inadequate to keep them together. They shared their secrets they would have otherwise not have told, they embraced each other and upmost they communicated with each other. Communication is important in this relationship because following the death of their baby, the couple never shared the same means of dealing with the tragedy. This leads to ineffectively expressing their feelings between each other, which results in the
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