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Connections,meanings and symbols in three stories from Interpreter of Maladies - Admission/Application Essay Example

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Jhumpa Lahiri is an astounding writer who has authored quite a few short stories and even won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction.It is through her short stories that she has made herself known since each story brings out a unique meaning and connection to another by way of using rich symbols which make them all the more compelling to read …
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Connections,meanings and symbols in three stories from Interpreter of Maladies
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Download file to see previous pages Jhumpa Lahiri is an astounding writer who has authored quite a few short stories and even won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction.It is through her short stories that she has made herself known since each story brings out a unique meaning and connection to another by way of using rich symbols which make them all the more compelling to read It is through her short stories that she has made herself known since each story brings out a unique meaning and connection to another by way of using rich symbols which make them all the more compelling to read and ponder on. Three such stories from her collection titled “Interpreter of Maladies” would be highlighted in the course of this discussion namely “A Temporary Matter”, “Mrs. Sen’s” and “The Third and Final Continent”. Each of these stories has something in common which make them synchronize and correlate with the entire collection. “A Temporary Matter” is about a couple who is experiencing far-flung thoughts ever since they have lost their child. Shoba and Shukumar have long held secrets that they share over power failure. The electricity becomes a means to a closure in their lives. They get a chance to recall moments from the past that may have caused hurt to each other. The confessions allow a relief in the last few days that they eat and talk together. The loss of their child who happens to be stillborn, six months ago has caused them to grow apart. Family life no longer exists and both run away from the friends and relatives for whom they would throw parties otherwise. Lahiri describes the present moment in the couple’s lives as the most sensitive. While Shoba spends most of her time working out, Shukumar stays in bed or cooks rarely thinking and caring about himself. He no longer feels attracted towards his wife and even later confesses to her how he kept a torn picture of a woman in his wallet during her pregnancy while he was away for conference. “Each day, Shukumar noticed, her beauty, which had once overwhelmed him, seemed to fade. The cosmetics that had seemed superfluous were necessary now, not to improve her but to define her somehow” (Lahiri 14). With the distance coming between the couple Lahiri lays stress on the meaning of temporary matter which bothers the third person narrator, Shukumar. In a not so similar setting there is another tale about an eleven year old child who is sent for adult supervision to an Indian lady. The story is titled “Mrs. Sen’s” and revolves around the loneliness experienced by both Eliot and Mrs. Sen. Lahiri deliberately discusses all the objects which mean something to Mrs. Sen and bring pleasure in her life as they remind her of her past and her home, India. America is not the place where she enjoys living. The artifacts she used back in Calcutta such as kitchen blade, the aerogram, her saris and the tape of the voices of her family members contrast world she is living in today. Each of these things have a history and she explains them to Eliot when she working or even frustrated and throwing tantrums. Then there is her mania for fish on a regular basis. She believes that the fish in Calcutta is much better than the one sold in America. She believes “everything is there” (Lahiri 113). It is obvious that she moved from India quite reluctantly. These objects give her both pleasure and pain. The accident towards the end of the story symbolizes the transformed life that Mrs. Sen kowtow to live in. Another story by Lahiri generates a comforting emotion with regard to immigrant experience in America. This is “The Third and Final Continent”, the last story in the collection by Lahiri. It contrasts the above stories and tells a tale of a Bengali who is the narrator and explains how he moves to Boston and settles down. He is open to the change in culture but he still carries the mark of his hometown as a recollection of the past. While he waits for his wife Mala to join him he meets Mrs. Croft a hundred and three year old lady who considers him a gentleman because he is not only kind but works in MIT. In this story one can feel positive vibes from the narrator ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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