Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Interpreter of Maladies" by Jhumpa Lahiri

4. Discuss the significance of Mrs. Das's requesting, and then losing, Mr. Kapasi's address. Apart from its function in the plot, how does this suggest a resolution to the story?

At first, when Mrs. Das requests Mr. Kapasi's address, it gives him a sense of hope that he has not felt in quite some time. He takes her friendliness as a sign of romantic interest, and begins to fantasize about what they could become to one another in the future. She ignites this attraction when she shows an interest and speaks of the importance in Mr. Kapasi's other occupation, an interpreter for a doctor. What he does not know at the time; however, is that her interest has ulterior motives. While he sees giving her his address as an opportunity to get to know her better, Mrs. Das wants to use his talents to ask him for a remedy for her own unhappiness in life. After she reveals her secret to him that she was unfaithful to her husband, he seems sickened at the thought that she would try and ask for his advice. When he points out that she does not have an actual sickness and is instead experiencing guilt, she is equally disappointed with his diagnosis and decides to leave rather than face it. Once they discover more about each other, they realize they are much different than they first thought. Their converstion has a negative impact on their meeting, and when Mr. Kapasi's address blows away I took it as a link to his deflated fantasies. Just as his address floats away in the wind, so does his dream of getting to know Mrs. Das. He realizes that he is not going anywhere in life and will remain unhappy and unsatisfied with where he is. Similarly, Mrs. Das will remain discontent with her lifestyle as well.

1 comment:

  1. Must be an enjoyable read Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by "to read" list.