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Interpreter Of Maladies By Jhumpa Lahiri Analysis

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In the novel, Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, nine distinct stories are told that depict families or people of Indian descent who experience different situations and circumstances that affect their lives. Many themes arise throughout the stories, but one that is prevalent through two specific stories, Mrs.Sen’s and Interpreter of Maladies, is the idea of cultural assimilation. Mrs.Sen’s and Interpreter of Maladies both portray the idea of cultural assimilation, but in different ways. Mrs.Sen’s is an example of a woman who resisted cultural assimilation in order to preserve her Indian heritage, while Interpreter of Maladies is a story that depicts a family who have fallen victim to cultural assimilation, thus losing a sense of connection to their Indian roots and being conformed into American culture. Lahiri uses the recurring motif of physical objects and actions to illustrate the various effects cultural assimilation has on certain people. Ultimately, Lahiri suggests the idea that American culture plays an influential role in shaping one’s physical and cultural beliefs, but it is possible to avoid being assimilated through self-determination and resistance.
In the story Interpreter of Maladies, an Indian-American family, known as the Das’s, travel to India, but upon arrival, they are clueless about the culture and history of their own country of nationality. Throughout the story, the behavior and actions of the Das family is told through the eyes of Mr.Kapasi, the
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