Interpreter Of Maladies

Powerful Essays
Every individual comes from a different background, raised a certain way, with different characteristics and qualities. The difficulty in a successful relationship, is merging all those together to eventually build a happy life with one another. Jhumpa Lahiri an author from India currently living in New York, wrote the book Interpreter Of Maladies in 1999, as a way of illustrating the differences between Indians and Indian-Americans through a variety of complex relationships. Notably, those are illustrated through her multiple short stories in the context of the couples’ communities and their intercommunication. Lahiri forms a diverse assortment of characters to show the complexity of each individual’s personality while coping with one’s…show more content…
190. The husband is a Bengali man who left India to London to pursue his studies and is now in Boston. He is preparing to live with his wife Mala, whom both are forced to be together due to an arranged marriage. For this reason, he goes to find a roomier place for them to live and assumes full responsibility of taking care of her. At the beginning, he feels as if his wife is a burden rather than a romantic partner; an aspect of men’s mindsets in the Indian culture. As we can see in the arranged marriage, the role of the man is to take care of the basic needs of his wife. However, he does more than the basics, although they are rather poor, he makes the effort to take her out to try easing her into her new surroundings. Furthermore, he notices that she is incredibly homesick and goes out of his way to genuinely care for her. Similarly, in return, she made “ rice for breakfast, as most Bengali husbands did”.pg.192. Mala, at arrival, makes two sweaters for her husband, attempts to cook, decorate the house and do what she knows to be the expected duties of a Bengali woman despite the fact that she was forced to travel to America and live with a man she has never met; another aspect of women’s gender roles in Indian culture. However, and contrary to Bibi Haldar’s story, though Mala and her husband both feel uncomfortable with the gender roles imposed on them, they both make efforts for one another as strangers to adapt to an American lifestyle and customs. In retrospect, as an ending story, it is the first time in the novel that we see a successful happy relationship between two Indian immigrants in America. As we can see due to ethnicity, culture, and customs, gender roles are predefined in a relationship through generations, yet may be affected as a result of circumstances and
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