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Free summary and analysis of “A Temporary Matter” in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies that won’t make you snore. We promise. “A Temporary Matter” was originally published in the New Yorker in April and is the first story in Jhumpa Lahiri’s debut collection, Interpreter of Maladies. First of all, although the main action of the short story “A Temporary Matter” by Jhumpa Lahiri revolves around very important life events such as.

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Shoba’s mother comes to stay for two months after the stillbirth.

I could feel the emptiness Shukumar and Shoba must have felt after their devastating loss. The two sit at the table together, and each of them cries because of what the other has revealed.

Short Story Analysis and Themes Summary of “A Temporary Matter” by Jhumpa Lahiri

Individual personalities, free of cultural restrictions, shape their relationship and their lives. Shoba, on the other hand, stays away from the house as much as she can. Wishing to break the awkward silence between her and her husband, Shoba suddenly has the idea that she and Shukumar should pass the evening in the same manner, the only difference being that they must tell each other something they’ve never told before.

As much as it pained me to think of their suffering, a part of me could sense where their story was heading.

Shukumar also notes that Shoba always keeps her bonuses in a bank account in her own name. It was your mother, and I figured it would be a long call.

The couple has reached a stalemate, an impasse that has quickly led to indifference. Jayapal is an international development specialist, and her narrative is a mixture of scholarly observation and personal narrative—the latter including the hair-raising tale of her son’s birth.

When the power went out, the couple felt that they could discard their masks confide in one another. Through the game that Shoba and Shukumar play of revealing secrets, readers learn that deception has been a theme in their relationship.


Interpreter of Maladies

Each passing day it seems like they are getting closer, ready to put their sorrows behind and move on with their lives together, but when the power is restored in their lane a day before intended Lahiri reveals to us why she titled the story A Temporary Matter. Ellen Emry Heltzel, writing in The Oregonian, calls Interpreter of Maladies “an impressive start, signaling the arrival of yet another notable Anglo-Indian writer at a time when, in jhmupa circles at least, India is all the rage.

Given what has transpired between Shoba and Temporsry, readers have no doubt that she will recover from the blow and make a life for herself. Shoba does not even know the baby’s gender and has said that she is glad that she has no knowledge about the lost child.

Instead he thought of how he and Shoba had become experts at avoiding each other in their three-bedroom house, spending as much time on separate floors as possible.

Love Stories: A Temporary Matter by Jhumpa Lahiri

Men lahiir women followed. He had not wanted to go, but he did as she told him to. That Shoba and Shukumar are second-generation Americans of Indian heritage is incidental.

The next day, Shukumar goes to the mailbox and finds a notice that the electric repairs have been completed early. Shukumar is disappointed, but when Shoba arrives home she says, “You can still light the candles if you want. It seems as if ghosts that have haunted their marriage are being exorcised. Shoba and Shukumar do not attempt to comfort or support each other. But there is nothing subservient or deferential about this woman.

Delafield Edith Wharton Edward St. It is ironic that Shukumar should make this statement, because he doesn’t know the half of it, for the period of harmony and affection that Shoba and Shukumar have experienced is, like the power outage that brought it about, “a temporary matter,” the calm before the storm—the one that heralds the end of their marriage.


A Temporary Matter |

Notify me of new comments via email. They eat together by candlelight again. He spends hours thinking about what she might say to him and what he should say to her that evening. When Shukumar questions this, she tells him that she has something to tell him and wants him to see her face.

Reviewing Interpreter of Maladies in Time International magazine, Nisid Hajari writes, “At times the three stories that deal with the souring of love … read like journal entries, or schematics to the collapse of a relationship. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.

Indian literary scholar Suman Bala has collected thirty essays by Indian critics and scholars discussing Lahiri’s story collection.

It is the first story in the collection Interpreter of Maladiesfor which Lahiri won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in He is a tall man with a large build. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Moreover, the thought of what Shoba will say next excites him, temporayr a sense of anticipation which the reader shares. I have provided a clip below:. There is nothing left to bind him to his promise.

Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. Once again, Shukumar is at the mercy of a powerful, take-charge woman. They then sit together on the sofa and kiss. Shoba has not made her confessions in an attempt to restore their relationship but to prepare herself for a transition to a more independent mattwr.

Again, it is clear that the little things mask the greater realities.