Interpreter of Maladies

Relationships and Failure in Interpreter of Maladies 12th Grade

Jhumpa Lahiri’s labyrinthine anthology, ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ is an exposé of the plight of Indians and Indian-Americans and their interactions with each other, society and their milieu. The complexity of her tales is attributed to Lahiri’s efforts in forming meticulous character profiles, enhanced by the distinguished approaches her protagonists employ to deal with their afflicted “maladies”. In hindsight, it appears that failure to overcome these adversities correlate with an absence of strong relations, but Lahiri also highlights that this is not always the case; even the strongest of relationships can fail to overcome some obstacles in life. In addition, she depicts that resilient connections do assist, but are not essential for attaining success.

Boori Ma’s despondent fate can be attributed to her lack of strong relationships in “Calcutta”. Ever since she was ‘separated from her husband and four daughters’, she participates in few, loose associations with the ‘residents’ of the dilapidated apartment building she serviced as ‘a real durwan’, standing ‘guard between them and the outside world.’ Her detachment from fellow residents is accentuated by the fact that on the ‘certain’ occasions when she was invited into their...

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