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Cultural Dilemmas In Jumpha Lahiri: a Study of Interpreter of Maladies |

Mrs. Asha Sharma, in Journal of Advances and Scholarly Researches in Allied Education | Multidisciplinary Academic Research


Post-colonialism is a specifically post-modernintellectual discourse and its aspects can be found not only in sciencesconcerning history, literature and politics, but also in approach to cultureand identity of both the colonizer and the colonized nations. A major aspect ofpost­colonialism is the clash of cultures. The relationship of the colonialpower to the colonized nation, its population and culture seems extremelyambiguous and contradictory. This contradiction of two clashing cultures andthe wide scale of problems resulting from it must be regarded as a major themein post-colonial literature. This paper to be presented on Jumpha Lahiri's Interperterof Maladies deals with conflicts her characters face. Struggles with interpersonalrelationships and stress of daily existences, are universal themes to whichalmost anyone can relate. This work is enriched with sensitive dilemmas inlife. Characters in this book experience the cultural as well as the generationgaps. She therefore comments on the effects of Western colonialism on Indiansand Indian Diaspora. Lahiri has presented her experiences through herprotagonists of how to live in a multicultural milieu. Interpreter of Maladies containsthemes of conflict in relationships between couples, families and friends.Through these relationships she explores ideas of isolation and identity bothpersonal and cultural. The characters in the majority of stories frequentlyencounter crisis of identify, which are tied to their inabilities to reconciletheir American identity with their Indian identity. All the nine stories in theanthology set in America and India are united by the motifs of exclusion, lonelinessand the search for fulfillment.