How do the characters’ views of one another differ from the way the reader is encouraged to view them?How does this ironic technique help to generate suspense?

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podunc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The narration of the story is third-person with a limited point of view, meaning that the external narrator only knows the internal thoughts and feelings of one person: Mr. Kapasi. All information about the Das family comes through the "filter" of Mr. Kapasi's consciousness. That is why Mrs. Das's intimate secret near the end of the story shocks both Mr. Kapasi and the audience--he is not expecting her to say such a thing, and, thus, neither are we.  

The reader is given access to Mr. Kapasi's thoughts and feelings as he takes the Das family on tour, but again, we are limited to Mr. Kapasi's view of himself. It is up to the reader to realize that Mr. Kapasi may not view himself as he really is. The irony in the story arises when Mr. Kapasi behaves in a way that contradicts his inner thoughts, suggesting that he may not know himself as well as he thinks he does.

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Interpreter of Maladies

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