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A Temporary Matter

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by

Bridget Murray

on 11 June 2014

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Transcript of A Temporary Matter

Avid reader in childhood
Background
Student Activity
silent discussion!
Literary Elements
Darkness and Deception
Shoba and Shukumar only tell each other their secrets when they are in the dark
Evanescence
Darkness does not last (brought closer for an hour)
"treated the house like a hotel"
Shoba staying with Shukumar in a happy marriage is a temporary matter
Alienation and Lack of Communication
Shoba visits Shukumar once a day
Shukumar dreads Shoba's visits
They try staying in different rooms when each other are home
Grief
Shoba and Shukumar both feel grief after the death of their baby
As a result of grief, Shoba and Shukumar forgot to do daily roles that are part of their regular routines.
Shoba and Shukumar spent less time together after the death of their baby.
Gender Roles
Shoba controls the relationship
Contrast to Hindu beliefs
By Annie, Bridget, Caroline, and Varvara
A Temporary Matter

Born in England, moved to US
ATM helped her win Pulitzer Prize in 2000
A Temporary Matter



Felt separated from parents and country
Stories discuss exile, displacement and loss
motifs
Literary Elements
Estrangement after death of baby
Notice about power outage comes
Honesty game
At the end Shoba shares secret that she is moving out
Shukumar shares that he held their baby
candlelight
Used during the power outages.
Represents romance and reconciliation.
Shoba and Shukumar eat dinner together while using candles to provide light.
secrets
Represent isolation and loneliness
Opening up to each other but still feel tension
Told in the darkness
cooking food and dinner
try to impress Shoba and ease hostility
show nostalgia - Shoba used to cook frequently (write down recipes - care about when they ate their 1st meal together), now only Shukumar cooks
symbols
themes
A driving force is needed for problems to be solved
Shoba and Shukumar do not communicate - loss of connection with each other
darkness for an hour allow them to retrieve feelings
loss of light forced Shoba to tell her husband about the other apartment

The little things in life are the ones that matter the most
“He ran his tongue over the tops of his teeth; he’d forgotten to brush them that morning. It wasn’t the first time."
losing concern for things he used to care about
slowly growing depressed since death of baby - seen through the little things
add up to portray the big picture
allow Shoba and Shukumar to mask important parts of their lives
Literary Elements
Irony
Shoba controls the relationship
Themes
Irony
Game brings them together but ultimately breaks them apart
"Shoba has not made her confessions in an attempt to restore their relationship but to prepare herself for a transition to a more independent life"
Literary Elements
Shukumar dreads Shoba's visits, but is upset when she wants to leave
neighbors
The neighbors represent the perfect and happy couple
contrast with Shoba and Shukumar
baby
Shukumar uses something that was supposed to be intimate to drive the wedge in their marriage further
Relates to honesty game they play
Symbols
Discuss in small groups what you thought of the story overall and the characters.
Discussion Q's
Discussion Q'S
Do you see any connections between motifs from this story and other novels?
"born and brought up in a Hindu society in which wives were expected to be humble and obedient to their husbands"
What does it mean?!
Discuss the importance of the following symbols and motifs in the story
candlelight
secrets
cooking food and diner
neighbors
baby
Discuss assigned symbol in your groups, write down notes on worksheet, and be prepared to share with class!
Our Examples:
A Streetcar Named Desire (evanescence) - exposes Blanche's true life
Native Son (alienation) - not able to express himself
The Crucible (alienation) - John Proctor differentiates himself
Full transcript