2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Shifting Marital Roles in "A Temporary Matter" by Jhumpa Lahiri
Katherine E. Kennison
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

In Jhumpa Lahiri's short story "A Temporary Matter" (1999), the birth of a stillborn child causes Shoba and Shukumar to watch helplessly as their marriage falls apart. Previously in their marriage, Shoba was considered the primary nurturer and provider, as she cooked each meal, organized and cleaned the house, and planned for her family's future. Later, she begins to neglect her former female roles as a caring spouse in carrying out simple household tasks. The reader sees her husband, Shukumar, undertake these duties in their home and in their relationship. In an effort to hold their marriage together, he takes up cooking, cleans up after Shoba, and ultimately avoids confronting the death of his child. I, however, will prove that Shukumar's actions reflect his personal grief over the loss of not only his child, but also his wife.

Keywords: Interpreter of Maladies, "A Temporary Matter", Jhumpa Lahiri, marriage, grief


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 61-2
Location: VH 1304
Time: 3:00

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