Merging Identities: A Study of Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies
Keywords:Post-modern anxiety, Identity politics, Diaspora, Exile, Maladies
Jhumpa Lahiri’s characters in her short story collection Interpreter of Maladies keep wandering between the two worlds- one in their homeland and the other in the country where they choose to live and die. Lahiri records the emotional journey of characters seeking love and searching their identity beyond the barricade of nations, cultures, religions and generations. Mr. Kapasi is an interpreter of maladies and the malady of Mrs. Das is to be an unfamiliar person to her family’s culture, as Lahiri herself is an erudite interpreter of maladies- both social and emotional. Since, Mrs. Das is undertaking a second migration, she turns to be an interpreter like Mr. Kapasi whose job interests her so much. The characters’ longing to belong to either or both the habitats, their urge to de-stress the distress of alienation by searching an identity in their native heritage add value to the writer’s creative intensity. She illustrates her characters sprouting in the centre of a new crossbreed culture, the Indo-American awareness as Lahiri herself, the true representative of the second generation Indian in America.
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