Only Goodness By Jhumpa Lahiri

1634 Words7 Pages
Indian Americans have been described as a distinguished minority in terms of their successful careers, middle class aspiration and work ethic. Chaubey highlights the notion of diasporic Indians shedding their linguistic, regional and religious identities with statements like “It is arguable that one is more easily an Indian abroad than in India.”[138]Ref 22. In Unaccustomed Earth, most of the characters pursue ambitious studies, often leading to prestigious degree and professional careers. In her personal educational career Jhumpa Lahiri has owned three master degrees and a Ph.D. The story “Only Goodness” is an exploration of career and tries to establish an Indian American identity by the protagonists. The story is about the Mukherjee family narrated from Sudha’s point of view. She relates her adolescent and childhood memories, and shows how her parents believed their family to be destined for success in America. They bring up two smart children who excel at school and are admitted in prestigious…show more content…
They easily accept the concept of wine, sex, dating, etc in their personal life. Sudha waited until she was at college “to disobey her parents.” (UE129) This included “going to parties and allowing boys into her bed.” Both behaviours would be unacceptable to her parents, who are described as “puritanical.” But while Sudha’s college behavior goes on unnoticed to her parents, Rahul acts differently. Though he is not yet old enough to buy alcohol, he begins to crave it, even in the family home. Sudha comes to realize that Rahul “consumed the alcohol in stealth that he could not endure her family’s company without.”(UE153) In the mad rush for Americanization, Sudha is indirectly responsible for Rahul’s alcoholism and how he has turned out, the whole story is centred around her guilt. In the final pages of the story she reveals her guilt and explains to her husband how

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