The Third & Final Continent Themes

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Themes 1) The Indian immigrant’s struggle in a new country.
“The pace of life in North America is different from Britain, as you will soon discover”, the guidebook informed me. “Everybody feels he must get to the top. Don’t expect an English cup of tea.”
“Car horns, shrill and prolonged, blared one after another. Flashing sirens heralded endless emergencies, and a fleet of buses rambled past their doors opening and closing with a powerful hiss, throughout the night. The noise was constantly distracting, at times suffocating.”

2) The Indian immigrant’s fear of losing his own culture.
“In 1969, when I was thirty-six years old, my own marriage was arranged.” – The fact that he had an arranged marriage proves he doesn’t want to
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Ever since Mala arrived, the narrator saw her as a part of his life, a duty. At the visit, Mrs. Croft asked the narrator a question, which led to him answering with, “Splendid!” This caused Mala to laugh and Mrs. Croft wondered who she was. After a slight introduction, Mrs. Croft replied with, “She is a perfect lady!” causing Mala and the narrator to look at each other and smile. The moment with Mrs. Croft, was described by the narrator as “the moment when the distance between Mala and me began to lessen”.

2) Explain the title of the short story.
The title shows that the narrator could survive life on three continents, while adapting perfectly. This title means to show readers that feats can be accomplished if they are set out to be. If the narrator could survive on three continents, then people can accomplish what they intend to as well. It also shows that it took three continents for the narrator to finally adapt – in America.

3) Depict how the narrator’s relationship with Mala evolved.
The writer’s relationship with Mala first started out as tense. He felt that his marriage was like a job, something he had to wake up to and live with for the rest of his day till he went to sleep, and the cycle continued for as long as they were married. There was no feeling or love, it was just a step taken by Indians in order to feel secure in their lives. It was their sense of security in the world, and marriage was their way of dealing.
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