Essay About Belonging

Topics: Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies, Culture Pages: 3 (936 words) Published: August 24, 2013
Lahiri’s stories show that all people face challenges no matter where they live in the world. Do you agree?

Having a sense of belonging is important for everyone and Lahiri’s short stories, “Interpreter of Maladies” describe the problems people face when they feel isolated. She sets many of her short stories in America and describes the difficulties that some immigrants face when confronted with a new culture, gender expectations or crisis. She also demonstrates, however, how others readily adapt and embrace their new lifestyle. Nonetheless Jhumpa Lahiri uses a diverse range of characters to illustrate the human need to feel belonged to one self to others, to feel accepted and have a place to belong. Between the nine short stories that Jhumpa Lahiri has written she has set up a range of main characters facing similar problems contrasting their different living styles but comparing the fact that they have problems. Lahiri wants to explain that everyone can face problems. One of her challenges she has developed with in the short stories is the demand of a sense of belonging. In “when Mr Prizada comes to dine” The first-person speaker is a ten-year-old girl, lilia. Lilia faces a problem when she finds herself caught between the traditions of her parents and American. Her mother understands that Lilia is American – ‘we live here now, she was born here’ (p.26) – and has little understanding of the politics of India and Pakistan. Yet, something still fascinates Lilia about her parents’ homeland. This confusion Lahiri has developed in her narrator was to demonstrate how important it is to someone to have a sense of belonging to a place and without that feeling they become lost and confused. Lahiri has revealed feeling a sense of belonging to a place through a young girl and also through an old Indian lady.

By comparing Lahiri’s short stories, it illustrates the struggles people face when they have a loss of belonging to a place, or others. Similar to Lilia in...
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