Interpreter of Maladies

1087 words 5 pages
Lahiri’s stories show the importance of communication in relationships. Discuss.

Interpreter of Maladies focuses on communication as one of the universal themes throughout the book. The stories demonstrate how communication is the key to the success or failure of relationships. While there are instances when communication is effectively employed and therefore enabled the characters to build strong and intimate connections, there are examples of where communication was superficial or ineffectual, leading to unstable, limited relationships. Jhumpa Lahiri illustrates the importance of communication within relationships by allowing readers to experience the consequences and advantages that have developed as a result throughout the short
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Shoba and Shukumar were “experts at avoiding each other”, both physically, verbally and emotionally. This is seen when Shukumar woke up and Shoba had already left. They only spoke to each other about day-to-day things in order to avoid confronting the underlying issue of their loss. The only opportunity they gave themselves to communicate on a deeper level was the game of sharing secrets, which eventually revealed that their motives were different and subsequently lead to the digression of their relationship.

In A Real Durwan, the residents of the building where Boori Ma lives are seen occasionally offering her tea or handing her the biscuit tin. While the residents were intrigued to hear the stories of Boori Ma’s past life, the offerings were a shallow gesture purely made out of politeness rather than trying to form a real connection with her. Other than Mr. Dalal, the building occupants never really make a genuine effort to converse or befriend each other and therefore did not build trust and were only able to form shallow relationships between one another. Because there was no build up of trust between Boori Ma and the tenants, she was immediately blamed for the theft of the basins. If the residents had of made a strong effort to communicate and get to know Boori Ma, the outcome of the stolen

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