Professor: Jacqueline landau
14th November 2012
Importance of communication in relationships
“Communication is the key to a healthy relationship”. It is a pillar on which every relationship is balanced. Relationships are never stable, but communication has the ability heal every wound. Majority of Jhumpa Lahiri’s work is based on the importance of communication and relationships. Her stories are influenced by relationship problems, and the ups and downs one faces in maintaining relationships. Most of the characters, in her stories have been facing a difficulty in communicating their feelings to the opposite ...view middle of the document...
Shukumar and Shobha’s relationship is not affected by a secret, but instead a life changing incident. The two have not been able to communicate after they lost their child. All the three couples have been facing problems due to different reasons, but the cure is only one. They are facing problems because of certain situations which can be termed as a barrier to communication.
In majority of her stories, Jhumpa Lahiri indicates the relationship status of a couple through their actions. In the story, “Interpreter of Maladies”, we can see that Mrs Das hides behind her sunglasses all the time, and Mr. Das has his nose buried in a guidebook. These actions, show that Mr and Mrs Das have been hiding from each other, ignoring the most important incident in their life which one of them is not even aware of. Years of miscommunication has developed an awkwardness in their relationship where they have accepted the lack of connection between each other. On the other hand, in ‘The Temporary matter’, Shukumar’s life has changed after his child’s death. He has become highly irresponsible. He wakes up by lunch time, drinks leftover coffee and works in the kitchen( Lahiri,Jhumpa. The temporary matter. pg 5). Shukumar’s actions and his irresponsible behavior signifies the intensity of effect his child’s death had had in his life. During the first day of power outage, Shukumar had to think of topics to communicate, to release the awkwardness between him and Shobha. In the story, the narrator says that “ They were never like this before. Now he had to struggle to say something that interested her, something that made her look up from her plate, or from her proofreading files”. ( Lahiri,Jhumpa. The Temporary matter. pg 12) These lines clearly indicate their inability to communicate.
Mr Kapasi helps the whole world with is multilingual communication skills, but he lacks the ability to communicate with is own wife. Mrs Das finds it easy to communicate her thoughts to Mr Kapasi, but is unable communicate with her husband. Mrs Das mentions that she has not been able to reveal the secret to anybody for eight years, especially not to Raj( Lahiri,Jhumpa. Interpreter of maladies. pg 65). From this comment, we can predict that Mrs Das is guilty, but the inability to communicate is killing her from inside. The inability to communicate is affecting her as well as her relationship, and she will feel peace only after reveling the secret. At the same time, Mr Das does not seem to realize his weak marriage life. He seems too busy in clicking pictures and creating his own imaginary happy family. On the other hand, Shukumar has been feeling guilty for not being able to attend Shobha during her delivery, whereas Shobha is shaken by the incident and...