Interpreter of Maladies Analysis
Jhumpa Lahiri’s, “Interpreter of Maladies,” tells the story of a family on a trip who consistently face communication issues and Mr. Kapasi, a much wiser man, who is expected to repair the problems of the family. Throughout the story, we learn about the dysfunctions of both the Das and Kapasi family. While some may argue that Lahiri does not believe in the power of communication, it is self evident that Lahiri does in fact believe in the power of communication.
We know that he believes in the power of communication because he presents to us a family with no communication and all the issues that can be solved should they communicate with each other. Some people may argue that Lahiri does not believe in the power of communication, and that communication may kill a relationship.
Communication is a sign of trust, you’re opening up to someone, and Mrs. Das did just that with Mr. Kapasi when she made her revelation. “Is it really pain you feel, Mrs.
Das or is it guilt?..
. properly insulted “(66). This quote suggests the ultimate end to their relationship, because we know after this quote she walks out on him and back to her husband. Mr. Kapasi was asking this question because he knew that Mrs. Das was guilty, he found out what was wrong with her and she won’t have it.
This argument can be rebutted in the future of the story because we see that Mr. Kapasi still cares about Mrs. Das because he doesn’t want her to be scared or in the end where Mrs.
Das tells Mr. Kapasi to save her son from the monkeys, not Mr. Das.
Lahiri presents to us the communication issues that the Das family has multiple times throughout the story and constantly uses it throughout the story as a theme. The conversation between Mrs. Das and Mr. Das shows us the lack of communication and even care the Das family has for their kids, “Mr. and Mrs. Das bickered about who should take Tina to the toilet.
.. she did not hold the little girl’s hand as they walked to the restroom”(43).
The fact that Mr. Das has to remind his wife that he gave Tina a bath shows that neither parent is aware what the other does with their kids, t`he bickering itself suggests problems in the relationship. “She did not hold the little girl’s hand” suggests a lack of connection and care that Mrs.
Das has for Tina because she refuses to hold her daughters hand. Hold a daughters hand has always been a symbol of love, care, and protection, Ms. Das indicates to have neither of these.
In the end of the story, we see that after Mrs. Das let’s out what she has been feeling we see much more interest and awareness on the kids, “Poor Bobby.
. Come here, let Mommy fix your hair. ” This quote shows that Mrs. Das is accepting motherhood and no longer is the “big sister” she was compared to previously. After communicating with Mr. Kapasi she can finally be the mom she long desired to be, even if it meant leaving her past behind, including Mr.