Marriage is an institution that has been around for centuries, and throughout its existence, it has faced a multitude of challenges. In the short story collection 'Interpreter of Maladies' by Jhumpa Lahiri, the theme of marriage is explored through various characters and their relationships. Lahiri's writing delves into the complexities and struggles of marriage, highlighting the common problems that many couples face.
One of the most significant issues that Lahiri addresses in 'Interpreter of Maladies' is communication, or rather, the lack thereof. In "A Temporary Matter," a married couple, Shoba and Shukumar, are living together in silence after the loss of their child. The two have become strangers, and their once loving relationship has been strained. The only time they communicate is during the power outages in their home, where they play a game of sharing a secret with each other. The story illustrates how communication can be a challenge for couples and how lack of communication can lead to the breakdown of a relationship.
Another issue that is prevalent in the book is infidelity. In "Sexy," Miranda is a young woman who is having an affair with a married man, Dev. The two work together, and Dev's wife, who is also Miranda's boss, is unaware of the relationship. Miranda is caught in the middle, trying to balance her own desires with the guilt of being the "other woman." The story explores the idea of temptation and how easy it can be to fall into infidelity. It also shows the consequences of infidelity and the pain it can cause for all involved.
Cultural differences and expectations are also explored in the book. In "Mrs. Sen's," Mrs. Sen is an Indian woman who is struggling to adjust to life in America. Her husband works long hours, leaving her alone with their son. She is homesick and misses her family back in India. The story illustrates the challenges that arise when cultural differences are not understood or acknowledged. Mrs. Sen's expectations of her life in America are not being met, and she is struggling to adapt. The story also explores the challenges of being a foreigner in a new country and the feelings of isolation that can arise.
Lastly, the theme of love is explored throughout the book. In "This Blessed House," a newly married couple, Sanjeev and Twinkle, move into a new home. The two are still getting to know each other and are discovering each other's quirks and flaws. The story explores the idea of falling in love and the challenges that come with building a life together. It also highlights the importance of compromise and the sacrifices that couples make for each other.
In conclusion, 'Interpreter of Maladies' by Jhumpa Lahiri is a poignant exploration of marriage and the challenges that couples face. Through her writing, Lahiri highlights the importance of communication, the consequences of infidelity, the challenges of cultural differences and expectations, and the complexity of falling in love. These themes are relatable to many couples, regardless of cultural background or ethnicity. Lahiri's writing is a reminder that marriage is not easy, and it takes hard work and commitment to make it work.
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