Study Guide

Interpreter of Maladies Dissatisfaction

By Jhumpa Lahiri

Dissatisfaction

Sometimes getting what you want isn't such a great thing. That's the situation for some of the characters in Interpreter of Maladies; they seem to fulfill their dreams and then—lo and behold—they find out that they're unhappy. That's because reality tends to turn these characters' dreams into less than they expected. Kind of like buying a Louis Vuitton bag and finding out that it's a fake.

Questions About Dissatisfaction

  1. Is it impossible to be truly satisfied in a capitalist system?
  2. Is a dissatisfied character necessary for a good story?
  3. How does a character's level of satisfaction determine a character's ability to achieve his or her dream?

Chew on This

Dissatisfied characters make for more interesting stories.

Materialism is the root cause for dissatisfaction in Lahiri's characters.

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