Study Guide

Interpreter of Maladies Allusions

By Jhumpa Lahiri

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  • Mahler's Fifth Symphony (TBH 29)
  • Madhuri Dixit(S 63)

Biblical References

  • The sacrificial lamb (ATM 4)
  • The Immaculate Conception (ATM 102), (TBH 50-52)
  • Jesus Christ/Virgin Mary/Christianity (These references appear everywhere in "This Blessed House" since that's kind of the point of the story. Try reading a paragraph without running into some reference to Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary or Christianity.)

Literary References

  • Some Irish poet (Sorry, we can't be more specific than this because Sanjeev doesn't know jack about Twinkle's thesis. "She was completing her master's thesis at Stanford, a study of an Irish poet whom Sanjeev had never heard of.") (TBH 49)
  • A book of sonnets (Again, can't say more because of Sanjeev. "He glanced at the cover; the only thing written on it was the word "Sonnets" in dark red letters.") (TBH 70)
  • William Faulkner's "A Rose for Emily" (Lahiri borrows the idea of using a first-person plural ("we") narrator from Faulkner's short story for "The Treatment of Bibi Haldar.")
  • Tennessee Williams's play "The Glass Menagerie" (TBH 112)
  • The Economist (S 6, 36)
  • The Boston Globe (TFC 5)
  • LSE: the London School of Economics (The narrator of TFC tells us he attended classes there.)

Historical References

  • Agrarian Revolts (ATM 4)
  • Partition and the Indo-Pakistan War(s) (You need to know about Partition and the splitting of India and Bengal to understand the historical context of all the stories, but the topic is most foreground in "When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine" and "A Real Durwan.")
  • The American Revolution (WMPCTD 15)
  • The moon landing: 1969 (This is what amazes Mrs. Croft's in "The Third and Final Continent." She brings up the moon landing throughout the whole story.)

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