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Lit 105 Critical Essay

Lit 105 Critical Essay - George Fountain III Literary...

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George Fountain III October 19, 2010 Literary Imagination Professor Voris Past Experiences Bring Success in New Places In the novel, Interpreter of Maladies , by Jhumpa Lahiri, Sanjeev’s life is described through flashbacks and symbols that he recalls or experiences during his time in Mrs. Crofts’ house or within his own home with Twinkle. The flashback and symbols are used to indirectly establish information about his past experiences without simply chronologically explaining them. In this essay, I will argue that Lahiri's series of flashbacks and symbols provide Sanjeev with tools to form a successful American life. These tools present an effect of attachment to his past experiences and the influence of his previous culture. The flashbacks provide background information about Sanjeev's family, his voyage to the United States, and Indian customs. To the reader, the symbols become insight to how Sanjeev feels about his new American life, in comparison to the previous cultures he was exposed to. Flashbacks give a break from the regular flow of the narrative. The protagonist manages to use these thoughts of his past to think of how he can make a productive life out of himself. For example, Mrs. Croft’s age of more than 100 years sticks out to Sanjeev based upon his family’s circumstances. The reader learns of his father, who did not live long and the effect of his death on his mother and brother, adding that, “My mother refused to adjust to life without him; instead she sank deeper into a world of darkness from which neither I, nor my brother, nor concerned
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relatives, nor psychiatric clinics on Rash Behari Avenue could save her” (Lahiri 187). This
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