A Temporary Matter Summary

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In Jhumpa Lahiri’s short story, “A Temporary Matter,” Shoba has given birth to a stillborn baby, not in the presence of Shukumar. This misinterpretation leads the couple to a rare amount of communication and leaves them with undeniable no connection or bond. On the contrary, a notice informs them that “the power will go out five days in a row”. Therefore, Shoba and Shukumar decide to share something about themselves each night, which eventually, leads them to get closer every night. Ultimately, the couple reveals their deep, hidden secrets, which had them wept, together. The author uses a motif about the absence of life and passion to illustrate the theme that acknowledging the truth about life necessarily causes pain. When the couple started…show more content…
The author introduces the power outage right away at the beginning of the story: “The notice informed them that it was a temporary matter: for five days their electricity would be cut off for one hour, beginning at eight P.M. ‘It 's good of them to warn us,’ Shoba conceded after reading the notice aloud, more for her own benefit than Sukumar 's.” The author introduces this power outage element to represent the lack of fondness in life, thinking about just one’s self. It is an influential part of the setting that develops the motif because it haltingly hints to reveal the theme. As the result of the power outage, the couple decided to share something about themselves each night. “‘Let 's do that,’ she said suddenly. ‘Do what?’ ‘Say something to each other in the dark.’ ‘Like what? I don 't know any jokes.’ ‘No, no jokes.’ She thought for a minute. ‘How about telling each other something we 've never told before.’” As a reader, we realize that as the nights are passing, they are opening communication between each other, learning something new about each other, every day. The power outage was a unique element to illustrate grief as it developed a motif representing the absence of life and passion of the couple, thus, gradually indicating the
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