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A Temporary Matter

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by

Monica Alluri

on 5 June 2014

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Transcript of A Temporary Matter

Theme
A lack of communication can lead to broken relationships and trust.
Setting
"A quiet tree-lined street, within walking distance of a row of brick-lined stores and a trolley shop"

A quiet street leads to no excitement, and blends with the idea of Shukumar and Shoba being a typical, suburban, couple.

Because they are such a standard, ordinary couple, Lahiri makes the theme universal to all couples.
Shukumar and Shoba
"tough times bring people together"
This is not the case in Temporary Matter, a story which tells the tale of a less happy, but more realistic relationship.
Upon loosing their child, they are thrust into a realm of grief and, more imporantly, distrust.
Atop being bereft of their relationship with each other, they rarely discuss their perils with their friends.
In fact, the only person to visit Shukumar and Shoba after the micarrage is Shoba's mom.
Darkness
The only time Shokumar and Shoba are able to discuss their relationship is in the solace of darkness.
It's ironic that Shoba and Shukumar play a "game"in the dark to bring light to their relationship.
As endering as it is to see Shokumar and Shoba reminice of better times, readers must bear in mind that this moment is fleeting.
Lahiri reminds readers that "a temporary matter[s]" are not enough mend severed ties.

Dullness
The "temporary matter" starkly contrasts Shokumar and Shoba's trite and monotonous lives.
As a result of this, Shukmar is observant of the most meticulous of occurances.
Shoba's eyeliner
Red/White Station Wagon
Shukumar is like a broken camera lens, unable to zoom out and look at the big picture. He pays attention to detail but is unable to face reality.
As a result of this, Lahiris writing is raw and emotion laden.
Symbolism
Stillborn:
The abrupt death of Shukumar and Shoba's baby is much like that of their realtionship.
Irony
Situational irony is present in the story, as the reader is led to believe that Shukumar and Shoba will work it out.

It is not till the end of the story do we realize that Shukumar and Shoba, because they had stopped communicating, have created a rift that could not be fixed.
A Temporary Matter
By: Anshita, Bhavya, Soumeeka, Monica, Rahee
Title
The title shows without work, love will be temporary.

No matter how much two individuals seem to love each other, relationships can be shaky without communication.
The Bradfords
The Bradfords are a FOIL of Shukumar and Shoba.
The Bradfords, strolling hand in hand the day of the power outage, are harsh symbolism to the distraught emotional reality between Shukumar and Shoba.
It is apparant that Shukumar and Shoba are envious of the them.
It's worth noting that they take no measures to improve their relationship. They, instead, sit, twiddling their thumbs hoping that their relationship magically becomes like the Bradford's. Yet, a heathy relationship requires communication, not magic.

Lahiri illustrates this theme by showing although Shukumar and Shoba are compatible as people, without communication a healthy relationship cannot be maintained.
“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.”
~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky~
The death of their baby marks the start of the deterioration of their relationship.
With deeper analysis, it becomes clear that the baby's death could be replaced with another obstacle.
Importance of Communication
Lahiri shows that communication is essential to a relationship.
In fact, communication might even trump love.
Though Lahiris' main theme points to romantic relationships, she shows another aspect of how the lack of communication leads to misery when Shukumar and Shoba lack social lives.
When they stopped communicating with their friends, they lost a way to express their emotions, so they never got over the tragedy of their baby.
This causes them to be lonely in all ways, and making them more miserable.
Physical Appearance:
The sweats that Shoba always wear and the yellow teeth that Shukumar has symbolizes the couple's inner turmoil. Shoba and Shukumar are so far gone that they can't even take care of themselves
"The key to a healthy realtionship is effective communication"
-the temporary matter group
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