The Struggles with Honesty and Communication in Interpreter of Maladies, a Book by Jhumpa Lahiri

January 12, 2021 by Essay Writer

Mixed Messages Make for Miscommunication

Everyone struggles with honesty and communication throughout Interpreter of Maladies, although such is life. The most intense of human emotions hit you when you are connected with another person on such a non-superficial level. Anger, confusion, pain, and guilt, affect and interfere with every aspect of their lives. Characters in this collection of short stories struggle with being truthful, as the fear of rejection, as shame, as overthinking, leads towards being unable to be fully truthful with their partner, thus leading to severe consequences. Instead of being forthright, people drift further apart, creating a distance that never needed to be there in the first place. Actions driven by mutual honesty is the link between two people, and is pivotal to deciding if the relationship is healthy or toxic.

Lack of sincerity propels you into a realm of distance and separation. Mr. and Mrs. Das in Interpreter of Maladies, have a toxic marriage, in which secrets are divulged to someone who is not another. The lie that Mrs. Das had concealed from her entire family, causes her bitterness. Her guilt, is turned to a form of irritation, since that is her reaction in comparison to internalizing her feelings and becoming depressed instead. However, upon becoming acquainted with another man, all of that guilt and bitterness becomes fleeting. She seeks relief in confiding to him everything she has kept in the dark, using a random man as an emotional crutch, as an involuntary therapist. Mrs. Das has not been candid about her feelings towards her family, especially her husband. In the process of uncovering her secrets, she inadvertently reveals how she has been misleading her husband. The fragile connection between her and every member of her family, highlights the imperfections in her character. There is no real dialogue to be present between the husband and wife, because shame and fear separates the two. Mrs. Das explains the burden she carries, by conveying her true feelings to this other an.She is crumbling under her shame, while the secret of an affair long ago threatens to ruin her lifestyle. She lives in an environment where she endures constant reminders of the guilt, it looks her in the face every day,when she looks in her illegitimate son’s eyes. With the lack of truthfulness, everything in her marriage is extremely superficial. Both the husband and wife are consumed in their own realities, as if they are looking through camera lens, and not once looking up from it. The lack of candor between the two reveals the unsteady bond between them.

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