What is the central conflict in this story? Is the conflict resolved by the story’s conclusion?
How do the monkeys that the group encounters in the hill country serve as a plot element, helping to advance the story?
While Lahiri emphasizes the cultural differences between Mr. Kapasi and the Americanized Das family, the most central conflict in the story is the internal conflict within Mr. Kapasi. There is a discrepancy between the way he views himself and the way that he truly is. After Mrs. Das shows an interest in him, Mr. Kapasi begins to fantasize about corresponding with her and eventually developing an intimate relationship, thus fulfilling his dream "of serving as an interpreter between nations." However, when Mrs. Das actually confides intimate details of her life and asks Mr. Kapasi to "interpret" them, he is shocked and insulted by her forwardness.