Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
The life in exile inevitably evokes a lot of problems an individual should face. However, often people are unprepared for numerous difficulties they may face, while being in exile that makes their life absolutely unbearable. In this respect, it is important to underline that people are forced to live in exile and if they are exiled they are forced to abandon their native country against their will. The cause of exile is due to political or punitive reasons. Jhumpa Lahiri, through the book, “Interpreter of Maladies" has illustrated the theme of exile quite well. Exile Various writers have explored the theme of being exiled. The exile experience, the question of identity, and the expatriate experience have furnished remarkable material in the world of fiction. Expatriation has increasingly become one of the crucial events of the contemporary world. In the “Interpreter of Maladies," the characters are faced with a common problem, referred to as maladies. All of them seem to be suffering from the difficulty of adapting to a new place and trying to forget the memories of the previous home country. The book entails a collection of few stories regarding different communities from South Asia. The novel interprets the emotional affection and affliction that was experienced by exiled people. When people are required to move from their original place of dwelling to a new place, various consequences accrue to their lives. There are various reasons that forced people into moving from their native land, most of which affect their families in a great manner. The writing of the novel was inspired and motivated through experience. Currently, millions of people live away from their native lands because of one reason or the other. Expatriation accounts for a notable percentage of populations in many countries across the modern world. Population dispersal is a factor that results into numerous economic implications on the society. The effects of exile are felt both locally and internationally. In most places around the world, factors that lead to immigration among most people include gender, religion, race, economic situation, political reason among others. In the “Interpreter of Maladies," most characters seem to have experienced life in at least two countries that is, their mother country and their host country. The people in exile are often in an unsettled state of the mind. This is because their minds are mostly in their home country while they are physically in a new country. Some stories in the book illustrate how people are exiled or expatriated from South Asia to USA. The theme of exile or expatriation elaborates on the loneliness of dislocation they faced, sense of identity and belonging, and cultural displacement. For example, Sanjeev is not amused when Twinkle refers to their new residence as ‘blessed’ because he is not a Christian (Lahiri 137). The exiled people faced with the question of identity because of being culturally displaced. According Lahiri, all those who grew in a new country were called the immigrants. They faced the sense of alienations and distressing for their children. The families experienced difficult lifestyle in the new country. The explanation of the context of exile can be evaluated in relation to Marxist theory. Particular communities were exiled from the rest of the society because of their social class. Boori Ma loses her economic and financial power when she is exiled from Pakistan into India (Lahiri 72). Later on in the story, she is expelled from her area of residence because of a stolen basin. This illustrates the demeaning and embarrassing incidences that people in exile experience. According Marxist theory, social conflict often arises since the natives of a country often feel threatened by the presence of expatriates. Communities from South Asia encountered social conflict in America since they were not wealthy enough to cope with the lifestyle in the...
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