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The Third and Final Continent

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The Third and Final Continent

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On the short story “The Third and Final Continent” we can see that the author, narrator and protagonist, Jhumpa Lahiri, introduces a new character presented as Mrs. Croft. But to understand better why the author chooses to add this character to the story we should know which was the general situation at US in the moment the story occurred. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act into law, getting rid of several immigration quotas. This piece of legislation resulted in a massive rise of immigration from Asian countries, including India during the late 1960s and 1970s. In particular, this allowed for many Asians to go to the US under the qualification of being a “professional, scientist, or artist of exceptional ability”. As a matter of fact in this story, the only reason the narrator even meets Mrs. Croft is because he is an employee of MIT, a honorable institution of higher learning.

Mrs. Croft is and 103 year old lady which “age had battered her features”. She’s an eccentric woman who doesn’t goes out a lot. Instead she has a wooden bench beside a table with a radio where she sits and listens to classic music and to the radio news, that’s how she finds out that there was an American flag at the moon. Since this woman it’s too old to work she rents rooms at her house; but only to Harvard or Tech boys. Lahiri at the same moment was looking for a place where he could live with his wife who was coming from India all the way to Boston. The author used a lot of description and symbolism to present this new character he firstly describe how she looked like. He highlighted the fact that she look really old “age had battered her features so that she almost resembled a man, with swollen knuckles and tough yellow nails”. In overall he describes this old lady as someone who likes to do the same things always. I mean, the author says that from the moment he entered the house and the lady ask him to sit down beside her it became a...