Study Guide

Interpreter of Maladies Marriage

By Jhumpa Lahiri

Marriage

If you're looking for stories of marital bliss, you might want to move on. There are few successful marriages in the collection. The most troubled marriages in Interpreter of Maladies tend to look from the outside like they've got it all, and by "all," we mean a house in the suburbs and financial security. These stories force you to consider the American dream as a misguided aim of marriage. (Well, except the last story. That one's special.)

Questions About Marriage

  1. Why is the marriage in the final story more successful than the other (failed) marriages in the book? Why might an arranged marriage be better than a marriage by choice?
  2. Does a healthy marriage require good communication between spouses?
  3. Does it help to have the same cultural background in a marriage?

Chew on This

Arranged marriages are based on a more mature set of reasons than marriages by choice.

It's not racial or cultural differences that make marriage challenging; it's the differences in personality between spouses that can turn marriage into a war zone.

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