Topics: Short story, Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies Pages: 3 (1337 words) Published: December 4, 2010
Interpreter of Maladies
Good Evening, My name is Trisha Hariramani. A student of The Cathedral Vidya School Lonavala Batch IBDP1 doing my English SL in the A1 course shall be presenting my individual oral presentation on the Character of Mrs.Das in the short story of The Interpreter of Maladies. The collection of stories deals with the everyday lives of Indians abroad (mostly Bengali immigrants), as they go out into the New World with their Indian Diasporas at hand. Jhumpa Lahiri tells us tales of complicated marital relationship, infidelity and the powers of survival. Her short stories, Interpreter of maladies, the blessed house, Mrs. sen, and the treatment of Bibi haldar, are exclusively about women perceived through the eyes of a third person. Each of these female characters has the common motif of exclusion and to a certain extent the pursuit for fulfilment. I am going to be solely focusing on Mrs Das’s character, her traits and personality. In this story of cultural shock, the opening sentences which describes a bitter quarrel between Mrs.Das and her husband over who would take their daughter, Tina, to the bathroom, convey to the reader that not only does she have constrained marriage but also that her children are an obligation to her. Jhumpa Lahiri expands on this initial impression of disgust and depicts Mrs.Das to be self engrossed. She is portrayed to be indifferent to her surroundings. For instance when the men at the tea stall try and tease or entice her by singing Hindi love songs she doesn’t pay any mind at all. Her lack of understanding of the language reveals her cultural obliviousness. To add to this prevalent obliviousness the author describes Mrs. Das’s physical appearance and sense of clothing intently. By doing so she evokes Mrs. Das’s American background and upbringing. “Her hair was shorn a little longer than her husband’s” as opposed to the long black hair of a stereotypical Indian woman, this indicates that she is modern and doesn’t...
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