Essay about Interpreter of Maladies

Words: 1610
Pages: 7

Symbolism is an important factor in many stories. In “Interpreter of Maladies”, the author, Jhumpa Lahiri, uses the symbol to represent her idea. In the story, the main character, Mr. Kapasi, is an Indian tour guide who accompanies the Das family on their way to see the Sun Temple at Konarak. Mr. Kapasi is an intelligent and knowledgeable man. He was once fluent in many languages but now speaks only English. He wanted to be a diplomat once but now he works as an interpreter in a doctor’s office. Mr. and Mrs. Das are young couple with three kids. Mr. Kapasi feels that they are more likely to be brother and sister to the kids than parents. The story’s central conflict focuses on the marriage situation because both the protagonist, Mr. …show more content…
Thus, Mr. Kapasi becomes aware that Mrs. Das is in the same situation as he is in. Therefore, Mr. Kapasi hopes that the scrap paper will be the bridge for communication between Mrs. Das and him.
The scrap paper is a turning point for Mr. Kapasi. Mr. Kapasi’s life is so dry if he doesn’t meet with Mrs. Das. He is a responsible man for his family, but he doesn’t love his wife. Although he is 40 years old, he looks older than his actual age as his life is similar to a dry tree which needs water. The love that grows in Mr. Kapasi’s mind becomes the water for his life. Mr. Kapasi is intoxicated by love. The narrator mentions, “As soon as Mr. Kapasi put the gum in his mouth a tick sweet liquid burst onto his tongue” (549). The piece of gum that Mrs. Das gives Mr. Kapasi is the symbol of intoxication. The sweetness supports the idea of romantic relationship and love. The narrator describes, “In those moments Mr. Kapasi used to believe that all was right with the world, that all struggles were rewarded, that all of life’s mistakes made sense in the end” (552). Mr. Kapasi feels that the world is on his side. He also thinks that the life that he used to struggle is turning to a wonderful life. He believes that he is going to get the happiness in his life. In addition, Mr. Kapasi develops the thought about the possibility of a deep friendship between Mrs. Das and himself. Mr. Kapasi thinks that Mrs. Das will write the letter to him for asking details about his life and