Deconstructive Features of Culture and Natural Instinct in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Short Stories “Interpreter of Maladies” and “Sexy”: A Criticism of the Values of Life

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Somnath Shankhari


Jhumpa Lahiri in her collection of short stories, “The Interpreter of Maladies”, has accentuated on the multifarious level of complexities that ooze along the repository of feelings and emotions of an individual, in a subterraneous manner. Two short stories of the book, namely “The Interpreter of Maladies” and “Sexy” unveil the lack of contentment, frustrations and craving for a harmoniously reciprocal relationship amongst the protagonists, who through their life struggle, sometimes prioritizes the culture with its prevalent ideals, while on the other hand instinctively let their individualities float on the intrinsic urge to follow the passionate longing for a natural instincts. Derrida's deconstruction deals with the tactics of decentering as well as subverting the privileged term in favour of the prominence of the marginalized one, and thereby promoting a free play of dominance of both the central and repressed ideas and meanings without having a hierarchy. Now, in both the above mentioned stories, conforming to the features of deconstruction the prime characters show their allegiance to the dominant cultural ethics, notions, values, ideas, customs and behaviour, but an instinctive, repressed personal yearning for the affinity with a more compatible and considerate partner, which remains subterraneous in their psyche and constantly strives to possess the centre of their instrumental impetuses of life.


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How to Cite
Somnath Shankhari. “Deconstructive Features of Culture and Natural Instinct in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Short Stories “Interpreter of Maladies” and ‘Sexy’: A Criticism of the Values of Life”. The Creative Launcher, vol. 5, no. 5, Dec. 2020, pp. 160-8, doi:10.53032/tcl.2020.5.5.21.


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