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The Interpreter of Maladies: a Literary Analysis - Essay Example

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The Interpreter of Maladies – A Literary Analysis Outline Introduction: The stories Interpreter of Maladies, A Real Durwan and Mrs. Sen’s within the collection Interpreter of Maladies show strong characterization which helps to emphasize the themes that are common throughout the book…
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The Interpreter of Maladies: a Literary Analysis
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Download file to see previous pages Sen represents a woman who holds onto the past at the expense of welcoming or becoming a part of the new world in which she finds herself Conclusion: Characterization within the three stories exemplify and help the reader to identify themes which are common to Indians dealing with American culture, and are prevalent throughout the collection. Published in 1999, Interpreter of Maladies is a collection of short stories, nine in total, which focuses on the experiences of Indian Americans and Indians within America. The stories talk about differences in races and in cultures, shown through strong characterization. Three themes that are common throughout the collection are the clash between Indian and American cultures, prejudice and holding onto the past. While the themes are prominent throughout the collection, they can be best exemplified by the characterization within Interpreter of Maladies, A Real Durwan and Mrs. Sen’s respectively. The way in which the characters in these stories are presented increases the impact of the themes and helps the reader to identify with them. Mrs. Das and Mr. Kapasi work as a foil for one another in Interpreter of Maladies, emphasizing differences between the Indian and American culture and the way the priorities clash. Although Mrs. Das is Indian, she was born and raised in America and the way she acts clearly reflects this. In contrast, Mr. Kapasi has been brought up in traditional Indian society. In both of his jobs Mr. Kapasi works to bridge the gap between the two cultures, however he feels trapped within his career choices and his life in general. The character of Mrs. Das is shown by the way in which she treats her family. She ignores her daughter who is seeking her attention, refuses to share her food with her children and argues with her husband about who is to take their child to the bathroom. All these instances show how she is disengaged from her family and not interested in connecting with them. Another aspect of her characterization is the sunglasses she wears to hide her eyes, because she doesn’t want people to see her emotions. An affair eight years earlier is the source of considerable guilt for Mrs. Das, which she longs to rid herself of. Mr. Kapasi is shown as more thoughtful than Mrs. Das. He has many disappointments in his own life, and feels trapped in a loveless marriage, yet his emotions aren’t portrayed in anger and judgment in the way that Mrs. Das’s are. Rather, he imagines Mrs. Das as a kindred spirit, someone he can connect with and who will understand how he feels. However, when the two startlingly different characters do talk at a personal level, the differences between them become even more distinct. Instead of the sympathy Mrs. Das appears to be seeking, Mr. Kapasi gives her only advice, and is seems uninterested in her problems. From his perspective, he finds her confession to be disturbing and is repulsed by it, trying multiple times to prevent her from confiding in him. The stark differences in the characterization of these two individuals underline the theme of the story, the strong distinction between the American and Indian culture, even in two individuals who share the same birthright. Boori Ma is an old woman in a new world, and her characterization in A Real Durwan emphasizes the prevalence and severity of prejudice. Boori Ma appears eccentric to all those around her. She talks about the past to anyone who will listen, even those ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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