The Immigration Experience told in Interpreter of Maladies

Topics: Short story, Jhumpa Lahiri, Immigration Pages: 4 (1107 words) Published: October 19, 2014

One of the most unique experiences in life one can have, is immigrating to another country. To leave everything that is known and familiar and start life anew, is an experience unique to its own. In her Pulitzer Prize winning book Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri writes numerous short fictitious stories presented in the light of the immigration, and how it affects the characters within them. Her characters must navigate hardship, questions on self-identity, realting to another, and other experiences as a result immigrating. Lahiri herself has been clearly affected by the immigration experience; she has expressed concern on self-identity and has even stated that she is jealous of her own children as they are they can identify as American. Whereas she immigrated and continues to have self identity issues of what nationality she is. Take for example the short story When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine: the narrator an adolescent girl is presented with the idea of forced immigration. “It made no sense to me. Mr. Pirzada and my parents spoke the same language, laughed at the same jokes, looked more or less the same. They ate pickled mangoes with their meals, ate rice every night for supper with their hands. Like my parents, Mr. Pirzada took off his shoes before entering a room, chewed fennel seeds after meals as a digestive, drank no alcohol, for dessert dipped austere biscuits into suggestive cups of tea. Nevertheless my father insisted that I understand the difference, and led me to a map of the world taped to the wall over his desk. He seemed concerned that Mr. Pirzada Might take offense if I accidentally referred to him as an Indian” (27 – 28). India has been divided. The little girl is exposed to the fact that even though Mr. Pirzada shares the same interests and culture as her and her family, there is a separation of nationality. The little girl compares the types of food and the way that they are enjoyed by with her family by of Mr. Pirzada, and she finds...
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