It is those who leave their homeland who struggle the most in Interpreter of Maladies. Do you agree? Essay - 2177 Words



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It is those who leave their homeland who struggle the most in Interpreter of Maladies. Do you agree?

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Text Preview It is those who leave their homeland who struggle the most in Interpreter of Maladies. Do you agree? Though Jhumpa Lahiri is a London born writer who grew up in Rhode Island in the United States of America and is now currently living in New York; she is able to craftily expose the fragility of immigrants while settling in a new environment in her debut novel – Interpreter of Maladies. Although Lahiri’s parents’ ultimately adjusted to living in America, they must have had frequent longings of their mother land, allowing Lahiri the opportunity to observe, first hand, the often painful adjustment of immigrants living in an adopted country. The psychological dislocation that immigrants often suffer can cause their children to feel a similar sense of alienation and loneliness, as depicted in several of Lahiri’s stories. Homesickness that is mostly felt by the majority of migrants in the early years of their new settlement is contrastingly portrayed between new migrants and migrants who have migrated for some time. Lahiri then compares the characters’ ability to assimilate in a foreign culture and proves to the reader the broad spectrum of integration that is achievable by migrants. However, the identity crisis suffered by new migrants is inescapable for second generation migrants as well. The predominant factors for unhappiness for immigrants are due to isolation and loneliness. These isolation and loneliness is not just limited to isolation from their new society, but also the underlying lack of communication between individuals in a marriage. Mrs. Sen is the most obvious character that is traumatised not just by the foreignism of the new culture, but also not positively affected due to the lack of communication between her and her husband. Lahiri candidly demonstrates the severity of Mrs. Sen’s loneliness: “I cannot sometimes sleep in so much silence.”, and the desolate fact that she is not living within a community where “one whole neighbourhood and a half of another” would come if someone “just raise your [their] voice a bit, or express grief or joy of any kind.” For Mrs. Sen “everything is there” – that is in India, and she is unable to assimilate into American society presumably even after quite a long period of time, even though the time that she had been in America is not specifically specified in the story. In addition, Mr. Sen, her husband by which she defines herself as “professor’s wife” is incapable of understanding her struggles in living in a foreign country, and her feelings of isolation and loneliness, simply expecting her to cope alone. This is shown through his lack of communication and physical contact with his wife. His lack of understanding for his wife is also displayed when he forces her to practice driving even though she fiercely refused. He does not try to understand and accommodate for his wife’s inability to perform the task, rather forces her to do it uncompromisingly. Mrs. Sen’s sudden question to Eliot “will you [Eliot] put your mother in a nursing home when she is old?” and her pessimistic insistence that he will “complain about visiting your [his mother], and you will get tired of it too, … then she will have to drag herself onto a bus just to get herself a bag of lozenges.”, illustrates her sense of vulnerability. Though it is not specified in the story on the number of offspring that Mrs. Sen has, it can be assumed that she does not have any offspring. She is relating herself to the mum who “have to drag herself onto a bus just to get herself a bag of lozenges.”, totally neglected and fendless without family or the broader community who cares for her.wMrs. Sen’s life in America encompasses isolation from the American society and the lack of affection from her spouse. The protagonist’s mother in “The Third and Final Continent” is destroyed by widowhood and is another example of the severity of damage loneliness and lack of love in one’s life can do to a soul. His mother was left to her... Show More

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