Interpreter of Maladies

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Lahiri’s stories show the importance of communication in relationships. Discuss.

Interpreter of Maladies focuses on communication as one of the universal themes throughout the book. The stories demonstrate how communication is the key to the success or failure of relationships. While there are instances when communication is effectively employed and therefore enabled the characters to build strong and intimate connections, there are examples of where communication was superficial or ineffectual, leading to unstable, limited relationships. Jhumpa Lahiri illustrates the importance of communication within relationships by allowing readers to experience the consequences and advantages that have developed as a result throughout the short stories. We recognise the necessity to communicate with our loved ones vicariously through the lives of several of the characters.

Mr. Kapasi, the interpreter of maladies, has essentially lost the ability to communicate with his wife, leaving him to drink tea alone at night. Because of this the Kapasi’s find themselves in a loveless marriage. This kind of relationship also exists within the Das family. Mr and Mrs Das are unable to efficiently communicate because of the material barrier each has which prevents them from any form of contact. Mrs. Das often hides behind her sunglasses, while Mr. Das is kept away behind his guidebook. Because of the somewhat non-existent relationship between their parents, the Das children are also subject to a lack of communication. Mr and Mrs Das have not communicated the proper manner in which to behave, speak or treat others, thus leading to the disobedience. They do not listen to their parents, nor do they Mr. Kapasi, this is seen when the children blatantly ignore his warnings about the monkeys. Because of the lack of communication between these families, when one is trying to communicate with another it always ends with someone being hurt. An example of this is when Mrs. Das confesses to Mr....
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