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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When he wakes up each morning, he sees Shoba’s “long black hairs” on her pillow. They hardly talk to each other and have their meals separately. Shoba believes that she has experienced her loss alone. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: While Shoba is out interacting with the world and creating a foundation for her future, Shukumar languishes.

The next day, Shukumar thinks all day about what he will tell Shoba next. It sickened Shukumar, knowing that she had spent these past evenings preparing for a life without him. This blog contains affiliate links from Book Depository, an online book retailer with free international shipping.

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

Both women share Shoba’s active, independent nature, and both dominate and intimidate Shukumar. When Shoba suggests that they eat by candlelight, he searches out candles and lights them. During this week, when they must cope with a one-hour power outage each evening, the grief and alienation that the two have suffered since the stillbirth of their child six months earlier builds to a climax. Eating dinner that first night in the dim glow of birthday candles which Shukumar must light constantly, Shoba is reminded of the power failures she experienced as a child in India.


Each revelation appears to bring them closer together though, as the story’s ironic conclusion demonstrates, any hope of a reunion is beyond reach. Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London, England, in Shukumar notes that she has left her satchel and sneakers in the kitchen and that since the stillbirth Shoba has “treated the house like a hotel. It was your mother, and I figured it would be a long call.

Her first novel, The Namesakewas published in the fall of Given what has transpired between Shoba and Shukumar, readers have no doubt that she will recover from the blow and make a life for herself.

Interpreter of Maladies

An air of suspense enhances the story further as Shukumar reluctantly agrees to play the game even though he doesn’t have a childhood story about India to share.

Not only does she cook dinner every night, as Shoba once did, she also “drove herself to the supermarket. He considers but then discounts several possibilities: This was the point of her game.

In this essay, Norvell discusses the story as “the interaction between an active woman and a passive man. That Shoba and Shukumar are second-generation Americans of Indian heritage is incidental. Ever since the loss of their child in September, Shoba and Shukumar have lived separate lives under the same roof. Interpreter of Maladies, the collection in which “A Temporary Matter” appears, won widespread praise from American critics when it appeared.

He had not wanted to go, but he did as she told him to. Less is revealed about Shukumar’s mother. When Shukumar questions this, she tells him that she has something to tell him and wants him to see her face. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here While it is ironic that they never thought to make such personal revelations until the lights go out, the idea of a married couple divulging their deepest secrets to each other adds an air of mystery to the darkness that surrounds them and heightens the suspense of what will actually be revealed.

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The volume is valuable in providing Western readers with Indian perspectives on Lahiri’s work. The roles in this marriage, those of the active woman and the passive man, were established long before the tragedy. Both Shoba’s and Shukumar’s mothers make brief appearances in the story through recollections of their visits.

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

Without a word, she turns out the lights and sits down at the table, where Shukumar joins her. But there is nothing subservient or deferential about this woman.

Jhumpa Temporaru is one of my favourite authors all time. Shukumar is a thirty-five-year-old PhD student, and his wife Shoba is a proofreader. Lahiri uses suspense to heighten the irony of the scene as the reader anticipates Shukumar’s reaction. Thus the stage is set for Shukumar’s final, heartbreaking revelation.

The relationship has deteriorated to the point that Shukumar lahirii leaves the house, not even to retrieve the mail, and sleeps until it is almost lunchtime, drinking coffee Shoba had brewed earlier that morning. Shoba reads him a notice from the electric company stating that their electricity will be turned off from 8 p. However, Shukumar accomplishes little. He is a tall man with mxtter large build.

This role reversal gives the story a strongly modern feel.