The Third And Final Continent By Jumpha Lahiri And Nightfall On The Waterway

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Minor characters of stories are often used to highlight the important qualities or beliefs of the speaker that would otherwise go unnoticed. The influence of the secondary characters on the speaker can serve as a vehicle for many central themes of a piece of writing. In their stories, “The Third and Final Continent” and “Nightfall on the Waterway”, Jumpha Lahiri and Ussiri Thammachot use the influence of minor characters to reveal the pivotal role that family plays in the lives of the protagonists. Mrs. Croft and the deceased girl in the river highlight the protagonists’ views of the comfort and pressure of family.
In “The Third and Final Continent”, Jumpha Lahiri uses the minor character that is Mrs. Croft to divulge the importance of the speaker’s relationship with his mother. The narrator first befriends Mrs. Croft simply out of the need for a place to stay, however after a few days living in her apartment, she reminds him of his relationship with his mother. Mrs. Croft first presents herself as a maternal figure when she disciplines the speaker, teaching him across his foreign culture, the glory of the American achievements.

The woman bellowed, ‘A flag on the moon, boy! I heard it on the radio! Isn’t that splendid?’ ‘Yes, madame.’ But she was not satisfied with my reply. Instead she commanded, ‘Say, ‘splendid’!’ [...] It reminded me of the way I was taught multiplication tables as a child, repeating after the master, sitting cross-legged, without shoes or pencils, on

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