What is a major idea that comes out of the themes of "A Temporary Matter?"

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that one of the significant ideas that comes out of Lahiri's short story is that there is a level of emotional duplicity that is present in relationships.  There is nothing to suggest that Shukumar and Shoba's relationship is ladened with secrets or is predisposed to secrets of deception.  Their relationship is standard.  Yet, the entire game that they play during the power outage is reflective of how much both have kept from one another.  The transgressions are small, to an extent.  Yet, as the game increases in duration, worse elements of deception are revealed and the entire relationship turns in a brutal game of disclosure.  This becomes one of the major ideas that comes out of the story.  The most basic of relationships can contain the most brutal of secrets.  When Shukumar tells Shoba of his secret, it is a reminder of how two people who are not malevolent or evil by any means can display the worst of cruelty to one another.  This deception becomes one of the major ideas of the story, one that reflects how relatively good people can do some terrible things in the name of love of another.