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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This was more than double the figure formaking Indian Americans the fastest-growing group in the nation.

But Lahiri’s stories in general, and this one in particular, do not seem to grapple with cultural issues as much as with gender issues. When he heard her approach he would put away his novel and hhumpa typing sentences. Jayapal was born in Madras in southern India, grew up in Indonesia and Singapore, and came to the United States as a teenager to complete her education. As they share long withheld secrets, they hold hands, kiss, and finally make love.

Interpreter of Maladies

Email required Address never made public. After the stillbirth, she had stopped cooking, and Shukumar had used up all the stored food in the past months. Shukumar is a thirty-five-year-old PhD student, and his wife Shoba is a proofreader.

Taken together, such details comprise a world that readers find familiar. She is kind and patient with him, holding his hand in hers to show understanding, whereas he takes even more pride in planning and preparing the meals they now enjoy by candlelight. Shukumar is seen “trailing behind her with canvas bags.

The next day, Shukumar goes to the mailbox and finds a notice that the electric repairs have been completed early. Together, they have played a game in which they have pretended to want the same things when neither one of them has had the courage to state the obvious: Individual personalities, free of cultural restrictions, shape their relationship and their lives. Their declines are almost too measured, too academic to evoke much sympathy or uncontrived sadness.


Interpreter of Maladies, the collection in which “A Temporary Matter” appears, won widespread praise from American critics when it appeared. The roles in this marriage, those of the active woman and the passive man, were established long before the tragedy.

Each passing day it seems like they are getting closer, ready to put their sorrows behind and move on with their lives together, but when the power is restored in their lane a day before intended Lahiri reveals to us why she titled the story A Temporary Matter. Norvell is an independent educational writer who specializes in English and literature. Shukumar is a thirty-five-year-old doctoral student who is married to Shoba. The story takes place six months after the stillbirth of Shoba and Shukumar’s first child, and the two are still overwhelmed by grief.

He stays in bed half the day, unable to summon the energy and concentration to make progress on his dissertation.

A Temporary Matter |

This was the point of her game. He is a tall man with a large build. Shoba believes that she has experienced her loss alone. In a description of mqtter past trips to a farmer’s market, Shoba leads him through the crowds and temporray all the choosing, haggling, and buying.

Moreover, the loss of their child has proved insurmountable, for neither spouse is willing to suffer that kind of pain and sorrow again. A Temporary Matterthe next story in Love Stories is taken from Interpreter of Maladiesso I was happy for the chance to reread it and refresh my memory.

He is so happy, in fact, that he cannot decide the order in which to make his confessions. He considers but then discounts several possibilities: Shoba and Shukumar see them on the second night of the power outage, and Shukumar sees them again, through the window, on the last evening of the story.


The irony of their situation is painfully clear to see. Therefore, Shoba’s mother could be expected to treat Shukumar with deference.

It was your mother, and I figured it would be a long call. When Shoba tells Shukumar that she has signed a lease for khumpa apartment on Beacon Hill, he understands immediately that the confessions they’ve made recently have served as a preamble for a far more disingenuous revelation.

“A Temporary Matter” by Jhumpa Lahiri

He cannot find the motivation he needs jjhumpa finish his dissertation but reads novels instead. Indian Americans are among the best educated and wealthiest of all Americans. Thus the stage is set for Shukumar’s final, heartbreaking revelation.

Shoba, who is “the type to prepare for surprises, good and bad,” finds herself unprepared for the biggest surprise of all. Far from struggling to balance two traditions, they have set tdmporary adrift from all traditions.

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

The End of Notes from Underground. Shoba, on the other hand, stays away from the house as much as jhupma can. In addition to having extra toothbrushes for last-minute guests, Shoba had stocked their pantry and freezer with homemade foods. When Shoba suggests that they eat by candlelight, he searches out candles and lights them.

Shoba comes into the kitchen as the electricity goes off and the lights go out.