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Interpreter of Maladies

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Stefano Pineda

on 1 October 2014

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Transcript of Interpreter of Maladies

Mrs. Sen
Interpreter of Maladies
Jhumpa Lahiri
Why name the book
Interpreter of Maladies?
Jogging your Memory
A Temporary Matter
Interpreter of Maladies
A Real Durwan
Mrs. Sen's
This Blessed House
The Treatment of Bibi Haldar
The Third and Final Continent
When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine
Mr. Pirzada
Mr. Kapasi
Mrs. Das
Mr. Das
Boori Ma
Mrs. Dalal
Other Residents
Bibi Haldar
Nameless Narrator
Mrs. Croft
Nameless Son
Jhumpa Lahiri
Born in London in 1967
Daughter of West Bengali (state in India) immigrants
Moved to Rhode Island when she was two years old.
Father worked as librarian at University of Rhode Island
Jhumpa has received multiple degrees from Boston University and has taught there
How do her life experiences influence her stories?
It's the title of the third story. So she wants the reader to pay attention to that one. But more importantly...
Writing Style
Simpleness allows everyone to understand the stories. Stories contain universal subjects that can affect anyone. The writing reflects this universality.
Significance of Title
Looking at
Individual Stories
Interpreter of Maladies
The Third and Final Continent
"I like to think... imagination" (196-8).
The Interpreter of Maladies

Simple, easy to read sentences
Why this style?
Marriage and Love
Does the perfect marriage exist?
Stories deal with emotional pain, i.e., maladies.
Lahiri relays these stories and helps the reader understand these pains. She is the interpreter of maladies.
Relationships by Choice
Shoba and Shukamar in "A Temporary Matter"
Mr and Mrs Das in "The Interpreter of Maladies"
Sanjeev and Twinkle in "This Blessed House"
Would you consider these relationships successful? Why or why not?
What point of view are the stories written in?
Third-person limited
Traditional Marriages
1. When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine
2. The Treatment of Bibi Haldar
3. The Third and Final Continent
Mr. and Mrs. Kapasi in "Interpreter of Maladies"
Third-person narration allows for a degree of freedom while reading he story - we are not influenced entirely by the emotions of the characters we read about.
First-person is generally used to mitigate a larger problem and focus on the major themes of the story
Avoiding the war(1), rape(2), and move(3) - less philosophical
Why is the couple in this story able to live happily ever after? What sets them apart?
Mike Dillon
Ashu Mishra
Abhinav Nigam
Stefano Pineda

Genre: Family Drama
Exposition: A Temporary Matter
Published in 1999
Jhumpa Lahiri
With many short stories, this isn't a traditional plot with one character progressing through time. This plot is more like a flowing playlist (shmoop). The stories, like songs, may not be directly connected, but they tie into each other.
Mala and narrator in "The Third and Final Continent"
Symbol - Children
Where are children used in the book?
Are these marriages successful? Why or why not?
What role does silence play between Shoba and Shukumar?
When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine
Mrs. Sen's
What do they represent?
Representation of Wisdom and Cosmopolitanism Through Innocence
What emotions do you leave reading this story with?
Overall Ideas on Marriage
Unaware of the significance of the war, views Mr. Pirzada as just like her.
Shares what he believes is the truth from his observations
Enjoys the company of Mrs. Sen, a woman with a vastly different culture, as she is more of a mother than his real one
Doesn't understand his mother's fear of emergencies if she doesn't care to spend time with him
Many marriages/relationships, even out of love, end up failing
But traditional Indian marriages aren't necessarily better. They can still have their problems.
A healthy marriage or relationship requires good communication, an ability to accept each other's differences, and a balance between heritage and the new place of living
Resolution: The Third and Final Continent
Miranda and Dev in "Sexy"
Arranged marriage begins with couple distant and disconnected with eachother
Initial silence and formality between the narrator and Mala.
Symbol - Food
What different things does food symbolize in the book? (Think of its uses throughout the stories)
Mr. and Mrs. Sen in "Mrs. Sen's"
Act out: "I locked...honeymoon of sorts" (194-96)
They soon come to know and love each other after the moment they shared at Mrs. Croft's house.
Adopt open communication afterwords when they share stories about their lives. They cared for each other!
Major Subjects
A Temporary Matter
Over dinner, Shukumar and Shoba are able to share experiences and secrets
When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine
Mr. Pirzada eats with Lilia's family out of friendship
Mr. Pirzada gives candy to Lilia
The book finally ends us on a happy note!
When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine
Lilia stores the candy Mr. Pirzada gives to her, but throws them away in the end because the candy reminds her of him
Mrs. Sen's
Mrs. Sen needs to have a fresh fish every day as it reminds her of her time in Calcutta
Symbol - Sight
Climax: A Real Durwan, Sexy
Lack of Sight
In Boori Ma's crisis, she gets thrown out of the apartment building by the ignorant residents as the final step in replacing the old with new - they didn't value her.
Blackout in A Temporary Matter
Shukumar cannot see his wife's plan to divorce - blackout actually gives hope
Mr. Das' Camera in Interpreter of Maladies
Mr. Das can't use the camera to see the truth about his wife
Biggest "breakdown" story
Let's read!
pg. 53 "Mr. Kapasi knew that his wife..."
& pg 64 "'I beg your pardon, Mrs. Das..."
Miranda overcomes her relationship with Dev after seeing the destruction caused by the Rohin's father leaving
An Equation of Trust
These stories each have climaxes that call for change; Boori Ma fails to change while Miranda succeeds in doing so.
Less Communication
More Communication
"They wept together, for the things they now knew" (22)
Shukumar begins to like Shoba more as they talk more when the power goes out.
Shukumar and Shoba
Mr. and Mrs. Das
Mr. and Mrs. Kapasi
Miranda and Dev
What two things are breaking down in this story and do they effect each other?
Is the conflict resolved?
Does less Communication equal less Trust?
Lilia and Mr. Pirzada
Sanjeev and Twinkle
Miranda and Rohin
Eliot and Mrs. Sen
Sanjeev and Twinkle
Overall Ideas on Communication
"Her throaty impostures hurt no one. All agreed that she was a superb entertainer" (73).
Does more Communication equal more Trust?
Sexiness as defined by Rohin: "It means loving someone you don't know" (107).
Yes to both questions
The more people communicate, they more traits they learn about one another, so they start to understand each other's actions and motives
What is cosmopolitanism?
Deconstructing Social Stereotypes
Shukumar was "bored" at a recital of Bengali poets (13)
In an Oriental Civilazation class, Shukumar had to copy an answer from an American who knew Urdu and Sanskrit, implying that Shukumar didn't know those languages (17)
The Das family has little connection with ancestral homeland (46)
Twinkle collects Christian artworks because they look "pretty", not for any religious reason (137). Sound familiar to European excavations in foreign lands?
In "Sexy," Miranda, a white woman, is considered an exotic beauty by Dev (89).
Criticism of Nationalism
Nationalism often results in violence. The emergence of Bangladesh outraged Pakistan. As a result, "Dacca had been invaded, torched, and shelled by the Pakistani army. Teachers were dragged onto streets and shot, women dragged into barracks and raped. By the end of summer, 300,000 people were said to have died" (23).
Let's Read! pg. 174 beginning with "The pace of life in North America..."
Direct Support of Cosmopolitanism
Rohin, in "Sexy," may just be a child, but he knows the capitals of nearly every country in the world, a cosmopolitan knowledge. He later tells Miranda that sexy means loving someone you don't know. Perhaps innocence, but perhaps cosmopolitanism = wisdom?
In "The Third and Final Continent" narrator's marriage lasts since they embraced the U.S. But also, their marriage became happy when Mrs. Croft called Mala "a perfect lady."
Our Interpretation

As the spread of cosmopolitanism and a global community continues, effective communication to build and maintain meaningful relationships becomes increasingly necessary.
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