Communication in Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies" Analytical Essay by scribbler

Communication in Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies"
An analysis of the communication successes and failures in Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies" collection of short stories.
# 153078 | 2,338 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on May 02, 2013 in Communication (Interpersonal) , Literature (General)

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This paper examines the role of communication in several of the short stories in Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies", including "A Temporary Matter", "When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine" and the short story that offers the book its title, "Interpreter of Maladies". The paper shows how the collection of short stories demonstrates a fundamental, subtle and artful recreation of real believable characters struggling to communicate with each other and between two cultures. The paper asserts that the book taken as a whole illustrates the vast and complicated character of human communication and development, especially of interpersonal relationships.

From the Paper:

"The first work in the collection is in and of itself proof of the Brada-Williams claim as the piece, A Temporary Matter the once loving and close couple Shukumar and Shoba isolate themselves from one another after the loss of a near full term infant. Shukumar serves as the narrator, seeking to understand the mutual grief and depression that the two experience from now entirely separate places in their lives and homes. Shoba retreats to her work, while Shukumar buries himself in sleep, the avoidance of work, and Shoba and minimal household chores that keep the two of them fed, at the very least. The couple has begun to settle in to a process of becoming experts at "avoiding each other in their three-bedroom house, spending as much time on separate floors as possible." (Lahiri 4) There is a clear sense that the thing each dreads the most is talking about their mutual loss and to avoid this they avoid each other, they have also completely avoided their once vast community of friends. (9) A total breakdown of communication has become a comfortable but perplexing situation for each. Until one evening an announced power outage makes it mandatory for them to eat together for the first time in months. They began on that first night of the planned outage a communication game where each told the other something he or she had never before told the other before."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing 1999.
  • Brada-Williams, Noelle "Reading Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies" as a Short Story Cycle Reading Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies" as a Short Story Cycle" MELUS, 29 (3/4), Pedagody, Canon, Context: Toward a Redefinition of Ethnic American Literary Studies (Autumn - Winter, 2004), 451-464.
  • Katrak, Ketu H. "The Aesthetics of Dislocation: Writing the Hybrid Lives of South Asian Americans The Aesthetics of Dislocation: Writing the Hybrid Lives of South Asian Americans" The Women's Review of Books, 19 (5) (Feb., 2002), 5-6.

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Communication in Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies" (2013, May 02) Retrieved March 20, 2023, from

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"Communication in Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies"" 02 May 2013. Web. 20 March. 2023. <>