Level of Meaning

Topics: Short story, Trick-or-treating, Halloween Pages: 1 (406 words) Published: November 2, 2014
In the short story when “When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine,” the author makes a reference about the holiday of Halloween. While living in Dacca he was a wealthy man, but when he made a drastic change by coming to America, it was a different situation from him. In other words, he didn’t understand the American customs. Halloween is presented in a way for Mr. Pirzada to see what American culture is like. He begins to question certain Halloween items when he said, “What are these large orange vegetables on people’s doorsteps? A type of squash” (Lahiri 34)? Jhumpa Lahiri constructs a contrast between life in Dacca and America. Both countries dealt with different situations or crisis and we must learn how to adjust to certain things. In this case, Mr. Pirzada is learning about the American holiday and the practices that go along with it. When the author mentions the family and Mr. Pirzada gathering around, she says, “He had nearly finished when the national news began. The reporter mentioned Dacca, and we all turned to listen” (Lahiri 36). We can infer that Mr. Pirzada is being reminded of his family back in Dacca because Lahiri states, “The knife slipped from Mr. Pirzada’s hand and made a gash dipping toward the base of the pumpkin” (Lahiri 36). In other words, Mr. Pirzada had finished carving the pumpkin and then the knife slipped from his hand. Mr. Pirzada was attentive to what was being reported on the news. The knife slipping is an obvious indication of something big or tragic happening because he is always worried about his family and saw the conditions of his beloved country on Halloween while watching the news. He became aware of the awful situation his country is dealing with. Adding on to that, Mr. Pirzada’s fatherly figure kicked in when Lilia was going trick or treating. He became worried of where she is going and with who when he says, “Perhaps I should accompany them” (Lahiri 38). He made a special connection with Lilia and realized she is like one his seven...
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