Immigration Trying to Achieve the “American Dream”

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Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies shows that many struggles of Indian immigration into America. When immigrants come to America, it is believed to achieve the American dream of freedom and success. In her short stories, Lahiri shows how transitioning into American culture is quite a difficult struggle and might not be what each of the characters might have expected. Within the three short stories Mrs. Sen’s, This Blessed House, and The Third and Final Continent shows a variety of ways the “American Dream” has come to be and that sometimes trying to achieve this acceptance and dream is harder than it has been made out to be.

The short story called Mrs. Sen’s tells the story of an older Indian lady who is stuck within her cultures tradition and trying not very hard to become part of the American culture. Her will to become part of this new country is very slim and integrating into the culture is very difficult for Mrs. Sen. Mrs. Sen refuses to drive and uses that as an excuse for her own rebellion against the American culture. Mrs. Sen watches a child named Eliot who is going through his own struggles. Being away from his mother on most days, Eliot is more mature than others his age and Mrs. Sen says that Eliot is wiser than she was at his age. “ When I was your age I was without knowing that one day I would be so far. You are wiser than that, Eliot. You already taste the way things must be.” (123) Within Mrs. Sen, being away from her family is the hardest part of the transition into American life. In the end of the story, Mrs. Sen tries to make an effort by driving for the very first time. By becoming distracted, she hits a pole and doesn’t have her license. She retreats to her room after the failed attempt of having that one bit of independence. At the beginning of this experience, Mrs. Sen was already against turning herself in to the American culture that she now lived in leaving her trapped within her old ways. Within the story This Blessed House, a...
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