Discussion Posting Lahiri, “A Temporary Matter” What role does food play in helping to understand the strife between husband and wife? First, use the close reading handout to practice analyzing passages (where food is mentioned) and organize your analysis. Then, write up a response that incorporates your close readings and puts forth your interpretation of the story’s link between food and the couple’s marital discord.
Storie by Jhumpa Lahiri, “A Temporary Matter” come from her debut collection of stories, Interpreter of Maladies. Lahiri’s collection was published in 1999, and it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2000.
Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London, England in 1967, but raised in Rhode Island. She was born to Bengali parents from Calcutta, a librarian and a teacher, who would take their family on regular trips back to Calcutta, India to visit extended family. In The Interpreter of Maladies, Lahiri’s characters are mostly immigrants from India or children of immigrants who are dealing with issues like cultural dislocation, marital problems, and identity conflicts (“Jhumpa Lahiri Biography”, Chicago Public Library).
Food–the preparation, cooking, and eating of it–also plays a prominent role in several of Lahiri’s stories. This is the literary lens through which we will be analyzing her works in this course. As you read, pay special attention to how food is being depicted in each text and what purpose it might serve.
In both “A Temporary Matter” and “This Blessed House,” Lahiri delves into the homes (and intimate details) of two marriages to reveal the discord between husband and wife. In both stories, the characters’ relationship to food offers potential insight into each couple’s marital strain.
Please respond to the above discussion prompt in approximately 12-15 sentences
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