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The Unaccustomed Earth By Jhumpa Lahiri

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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”. In “Hell-Heaven”, the actions of Pranab Chakraborty, a Bengali family friend of the narrator, shapes those around him, including the narrator’s family; as the story progresses, his influence on those around him becomes more profound. The two characters that are affected by Pranab in
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