“Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri explores the unhappiness of people in loveless marriages. This problem crosses cultures. This story involves a man who has lost a child and his wife who blames him for her unhappiness. On the other hand, the female protagonist in the story lives with the guilt of an affair; her husband is unaware of the reason for their marriage difficulties.
Since the author of the story is from both the American and Indian cultures, she has conflicting selves. Using this aspect of her own life, what cultural differences can be found in the story?
- When the main character Mr. Kapasi introduces himself, he presses his palms together in greeting. This is an Indian greeting called Namaste which translates as “I bow to you.” It is accompanied by the pressing of palms as a gesture of respect. Mr. Das, the Indian/American shakes hands typical of the American greeting.
- When Mr. Das refers to his wife as Mina to his daughter, Mr. Kapasi finds this odd....
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