Sexy by Jhumpa Lahiris - FREE Essay Example

The article takes a deeper look at the short story called “Sexy” and written by Jhumpa Lahiri. It is evidently clear from the discussion that the controversial subject of adultery is elegantly treated in Jhumpa Lahiri’s short story “Sexy”…
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Sexy by Jhumpa Lahiris
"Sexy" Jhumpa Lahiri The controversial of adultery is elegantly treated in Jhumpa Lahiri's short story "Sexy". The main character, Miranda, is a 22-year-old girl who falls in love for the first time with a married Bengali man, Dev. As she discovers the vicissitudes of love, her friend and co-worker Laxmi does not stop talking about her cousin being cheated and left for an "English girl, half the age of her husband".

Miranda and Dev met at a department store and soon after that, they started spending time together, careful of hiding their affair from Dev's wife. In one of the story's most important passages, Dev takes Miranda to the Mapparium, and in a moment of mystical intimacy, he whispers to her: "You're sexy".

These words will contain all the emotional significance of the story. They are what will make Miranda feel loved; and they are also the same words that will destroy all her illusions as the boy of a cheating father (Laxmi's cousin's son) pronounces them and explains his understanding of it. "It means loving someone you don't know".

Like an unexpected cold shower, those words hit Miranda and woke her from her dreams of romance and love. When she decided to move on with her life, life by itself put each thing in its place distancing the two lovers. The story comes full circle, as Miranda pays a visit to the Mapparium by herself.

Lahiri successfully develops a complex character and manages to unravel the difficulty of love relationships. Miranda is not the typical detestable mistress one could easily blame or hate, like Laxmi hated the woman that caused her cousin's disgrace. Miranda is a girl who fell in love with a man who was the first to notice the length of her legs, the first to make her want to wear cocktail dresses and sexy stockings. He was a man who had a wife, too.

The story also develops on the subject of the immigration and the discovery of the foreign. Miranda begins to know more about the Indian culture as she spends time with her lover. She learns that Bengali is actually a place and not a religion; and that the goddess Kali she had been scared of in her childhood, was not frightening at all. From learning words in an Indian menu, to trying to write her name in Bengali and searching for Dev's wife among the Indian films; she started developing an intimate relationship with a country she had never been in.

A fantastic character appears towards the end of the story. Rohin, a seven-year-old boy who memorized the capitals and drank coffee is the one who made Miranda see herself from the other side of the mirror.
He is the son of Laxmi's cousin and with what he said: " that's what my father did; he sat next to someone he didn't know, someone sexy, and he loves her instead of my mother", Miranda understood that more truth was told in that innocent boy's words than anything she could have let herself believe in.

With flowing narrative, Lahiri unfolds the complexity of human relationships, in this story that touches everyone.
Lahiri, Jhumpa. Interpreter of Maladies. 1999. Houghton Mifflin Company. New York. Pp. 83-110. Read more
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