Realism In Interpreter Of Maladies

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The setting is another evidence of realism in both stories. Even if one is external located and the other internal, they share elements of detailed realism. In “Interpreter of Maladies”, the description of Indian places occurs in minute detail. When characters reach the Temple of Sun in Konarak, the reader gets involved in the landscape as the narrator offers a passionate description: “Mr. Kapasi walk ahead, to admire, as he always did, the three life-sized bronze avatars of Surya, the sun god, each emerging from its own niche on the temple facade to greet the sun at dawn, noon, and evening. They wore elaborate headdresses, their languid, elongated eyes closed, their bare chests draped with carved chains and amulets. Hibiscus petals, offerings…show more content…
The vivid stream-of-consciousness prevails over the description of the place, which indeed is never presented. Readers meet places living in the narrator’s thoughts, but they do not exist physically in the story. The narrator lets her mind travel to many memories, and she describes them with a lot of details, giving the impression that also the reader is involved in the story. “She would struggle down over books, always eating and I would be ironing, or preparing food for the next day, or writing V-mail to Bill, or tending the baby. Sometimes, to make me laugh, or out of her despair, she would imitate happenings or types at school”. The lack of spatial description is a consequence of the redundancy of actions and behaviors of the family. Doing the ironing is so much recurring during the mother’s whole life that even her daughter points out: “Aren’t you ever going to finish the ironing, Mother?” The agonizing routine reveals the hard times during World War II, years in which there were no feelings but fear and depression. The characters of the story are stuck in their actions, even young people. When her mother suggests that she should go to school because of the midterms’ week, the girl “says quite lightly, “in a couple of years when we’ll all be atom-dead they won’t better a bit.”” They have far more sensibility because they are obliged of living their future as passive observers of bombs and destruction. Doing the ironing is a working class activity that, in the story, becomes the place where terrible feelings come up. Through the ironing board readers can feel the world’s death, violence and
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