Department of English

Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University

Jhumpa Lahiri, "Interpreter of Maladies"




Study Guide for Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies"

Topics that you can think about:


Interpreter, Interpretation: What agents of communication does Lahiri include in her story?  What is the function of an interpreter?  Mr. Kapasi describes his job as "interpreting what the patients say."  Mrs. Das calls the job "romantic," more important than the doctor's, and involves helping her "feel better."  What role does interpretation play in the story?  How does mediating get at "the heart of a matter"?  What interpretations or translations go on in the story?  Does meaning change in this process of carrying ideas across from one place to another?


Looking: Notice the vocabulary and act of looking in the story.  Who looks at what or whom?  What eye contact occurs and when?  What does the gaze describe?  How does the interplay between the different lookers on and those looked at enrich the story? 


Ailment and Healing: Who is sick or hurt in the story?  How does "giv[ing] words to their pains" help to heal people?



Review Sheet


Raj Das, Mr. Das

Mina Das, Mrs. Das

Mr. Kapasi

Tina Das

Ronny Das

Bobby Das








Sample Student Reading Responses to Jhumpa Lahiri's "Interpreter of Maladies"

Under construction.

Response 1:







2202235 Reading and Analysis in the Study of English Literature

Acharn Puckpan Tipayamontri

January 14, 2010

Reading Response
















Jhumpa Lahiri




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Last updated January 12, 2010