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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She also takes on extra projects for work that she does at home during the evenings and weekends. Readers know that Shoba is leading and Shukumar is following long before it is clear where they temporaryy going. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.

Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Shoba, who is “the type to prepare for surprises, good and bad,” finds herself unprepared for the biggest surprise of all. This is unsurprising given India’s strong tradition of education in math and science. The irony of their situation is painfully clear to see. 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.

“A Temporary Matter” by Jhumpa Lahiri | Writing on Women Writers

While Shoba is out interacting with the world and creating a foundation for her future, Shukumar languishes. Lahiri utilizes quiet details to enhance and drive her story. These incidents and others set the stage for Shoba’s manipulation of Shukumar during the week of the power outages. He can sit indoors and not want to go outside and is letting himself go, yet this is not as simple as it may at first seem.


As these examples of deception are revealed throughout the story, it is clear that Shoba and Shukumar’s emotional estrangement began before the loss of their baby. When Shoba starts the game of revealing secrets, it becomes the focus of his days. Things have not always been as they seemed between these two people.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Sadness may drown out all positive emotions. Shoba works in the city as a proofreader and also takes on extra projects to do at home. The next day, Shukumar thinks all day about what he will tell Shoba next. Remy is a freelance writer in Pensacola, Florida. A Temporary Matter is a beautifully rendered story. But these facts have no impact on how Shoba and Shukumar respond to the loss of their child or behave toward each other.

As the story unfolds, Lahiri provides readers with two conflicting sets of clues as to how it might end.

Shoba and Shukumar’s grief has led them to withdraw from each other. This state of affairs is a reversal of traditional gender roles in India, the country from which both Shoba’s and Shukumar’s parents emigrated, and the United States. Until recently, Shoba had always been neat and tidy, but now she deposits her briefcase in the middle of the hall and leaves her clothes strewn about the room; she is so weary that she does not even bother to untie her shoes before removing them.

In truth, she is engineering her final separation from him. He thinks that this is for the best, since his mother was unable to handle her financial affairs when his father died. The dynamic that drives “A Temporary Matter” is the interaction between an active woman and a passive man.


Their declines are almost too measured, too academic to evoke much sympathy or uncontrived sadness. In addition to having extra toothbrushes for last-minute guests, Shoba had stocked their pantry and freezer with homemade foods.

As they share long withheld secrets, they hold hands, kiss, and finally make love. He stays in bed late and does not leave the house or even brush his teeth regularly. Individual personalities, free of cultural restrictions, shape their relationship and their lives.

Love Stories: A Temporary Matter by Jhumpa Lahiri

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. Tonight, they will eat together because of the power outage. 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.

The book is a useful portrait of India today. The first time the Bradfords appear, Mrs. Eating dinner that remporary 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. When the story first begins, the reader senses uncomfortable tension between the couple through limited conversation with each other.

Like the former’s Good-Bye, Columbus and the latter’s Hunger, Kipen writes, Lahiri’s work “transcends mere ethnic exoticism. The husband and wife could just as well eat Italian food or fast food, and the visiting mother might just as easily have been a Catholic or a Jew.

He knew it was something she forced herself to do.

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