In The Third and Final Continent by Jhumpa Lahiri we have the theme of change, connection, control, identity and struggle. Taken from her. The Third and Final Continent. By Jhumpa Lahiri · June 21, P. The New Yorker, June 21, P. Short story about a married. The author of the story collection Snow in May chooses a contemporary favourite from Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Interpreter of Maladies.

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The story opens inwhen the narrator leaves India for London. Previous post McKinley Next post Pre-flight. It is mostly about the immigrant experience, and the habits by which our narrator learns to cope with the U.

Lahiri manages to be innovative in her handling of sensitive topics by being specific rather than general and personal rather than universal. The later transition is more definitive since he had adapted the English pace of living but then had to adapt to the hhird ways of American life.

Tone or voice of the story: The themes explored include identity, marriage, immigrant anxieties, East versus West and the second generation immigrant. Although they ate curry instead of borsch, their struggles to assimilate into American society while preserving their native culture were so familiar, so dear to my heart. However, he does become more caring about the old woman when he gets to know her actual age through Helen.

Croft acting as a surrogate mother for the narrator.

“The Third and Final Continent”

The social dynamic between the two is surprisingly not portrayed as an East versus West conrinent, where one culture has to dominate the other. It is interesting to note that their familiarity begins to grow from a chance exchange of smiles at Mrs.

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His own wedding is such a non-issue that he is able simply to mention it in the first long paragraph where he documents his life in London. At any rate, it is perfect for the sense of the ordinary that pervades the story.

Jhumpa Lahiri: ‘The Third and Final Continent’ by Kseniya Melnik

The Sitting Bee, 29 Apr. What follows is a tour-de-force ending in which every thread Lahiri has weaved through the story is pulled together into a gorgeous tapestry.

The result is a noticeable intensity. His studies in India prepare him for work, but it is probably the case that there is nothing for him there—thus the sojourn to London. Croft, the century old woman, is a prominent figure in the story. In The Third and Final Continent by Jhumpa Lahiri we have the theme of change, connection, control, identity and struggle. Helen becomes relevant as far as bringing to light that the old woman is not without any kind of support in the world and the narrator is not her only human interaction.

It may also be a case that Lahiri is attempting to highlight the difficulties that an immigrant can incur while trying to balance their own culture with a new culture. In this story, however, we see that the repetition of Mrs.

He is also living in a country in whereby things are culturally different. Mrs Croft tells them that she called the police.

Simple things like sitting with Mrs Croft when the narrator returns home from work strengthens the bond that the narrator feels he has with Mrs Croft. The narrator while living with Mrs Croft and afterwards makes a connection with Mrs Croft. Had he meant it to be kind, or was it simply practical taking care of his money?


The development of their relationship is shown in flashes yet the progression is evident. In the beginning travel defines his identity by agitation; later marriage provides a sort of stability. Mrs Croft appreciates modesty.

Croft with thjrd memories. Book News Better read than dead: Something he does not necessarily like. Within the span of the story, the reader sees them thurd from being strangers to a supportive couple. Great news, we’ve signed you up. It is symbolic of the travel that the narrator himself has done. They are slow to get used to each other.

The tone in which he thinks about her has the same underlying sweetness that is there when he thinks about Mala and his son in the later part of the story. Loss of parents probably made his family less well-off than funal would have been.

Jhumpa Lahiri: ‘The Third and Final Continent’

No desire to connect with his new wife. It also looks into the extent to which this story works within the short story genre. Here again the East versus West dilemma is not a culture-clash but observations of the narrator which are meant to be taken with a pinch of salt instead of being taken at face value.

A world that they have settled in. Author interviews, short stories, extracts, features and discussion about books from around the world. The relationship of the couple, Mala and the narrator, develops over time.

Many of the analogies may appear as extraneous repetition at first but their importance becomes clearer on a second reading.