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The House Of Sand And Fog By Jhumpa Lahiri Research Paper

Often times, individuals travel far and long in an attempt to find a home. Whether it may be for better or worse, the location plays a significant role in one’s identity. Imagine just travelling a million miles across the two Easts and the two Wests to reach a perceived notion of bliss. The following texts analyzed: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri & The House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III, explore the pattern of the sociocultural effect(s) of immigration on the livelihood of immigrants.

Furthermore, the topics explored through this paper tie to the following comparison(s) of themes in both texts. Without further or due, now to the analytical approach of the essay… Before beginning, it would be best to provide a brief, condensed summary of the two texts, to provide background knowledge for those reading this paper. First, Interpreter of Maladies by author Jhumpa Lahiri is a realistic fiction anthology {collection) of nine short stories written in 1999 near her the vicinity of her home in Kingston, Rhode Island.

Interpreter of Maladies is about the life and experiences of Indian/IndianAmerican immigrants, as they embark a new journey to the New World, where they must face a challenge: identify with their old roots or the new prospects of the New World? The nine short stories (in chronological order) are the following: “A Temporary Matter,” “When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine,” “Interpreter of Maladies,” “A Real Durwan,” “Sexy,” “Mrs. Sen’s,” “This Blessed House,” “The Treatment of Bibi Haldar,” and “The Third and Final Continent. ”

These nine short stories are a total of {approximately} one hundred and thirty-five pages. The themes {common among the short stories} present {but not limited to} are vulnerability, interconnection of relationships among characters, and suffering. Thus, the audience for this book is the general public, and specifically, immigrants who’ve also shared similar experiences with the obstacles of living in a nation.

Furthermore, these themes form a monastic pattern that plays a significant role in the collection of Lahiri’s internal thoughts that came as a result of identity linked to culture and traditions. Secondly, House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III is a realistic fiction novel written in 1999 near his mill town in Massachusetts. The House of Sand and Fog, is about a previous Iranian Air Force Colonel, Massoud Behrani, who served during the Pahlavi Dynasty, under the monarchy of Iran {titled Shah}.

Following his service, he acquired a platform of prosperity, wealth, and overall well-being. However, this would change, when in 1979, the Islamic Revolution in Iran {transition from elements of secularism to theocracy} occurred, which resulted in Behrani and several other demographic minorities being placed as exiles, thus leaving their nation. Behrani alongside his family, move to California, United States of America. Unfortunately, life in the United States of America differs from Iran, as Behrani lives in close proximity to poverty.

As a result of this, Behrani performs a diverse range of jobs such as office cleaner, carpenter, etc. However, a door for opportunity opens, when a character, Kathy Nicolo, whom is a drug addict, charged for not paying mortgage of her home; thus, the home placed under foreclosure. Seeking the opportunity, Behrani and his family buy Nicolo’s previous home. Thus, a brief nostalgic moment of prosperity emerges. Living through simplicity, Nicolo discovers that she was actually falsely acquitted of not paying her mortgage, thus appeals to re-purchase her home.

However, according to law, since the home was legally sold Behrani, it’s under his jurisdiction {decision} on whether or not he chooses to sell the home. Afraid of losing all that he’s provided for his family, Behrani refuses to sell the home, which results in severe altercations, that deeply affects all parties involved… The novel forms a total of {approximately} three hundred and sixty-five pages. Thus, the audience for this book is the general public. The themes present {but not limited to} in the novel are sacrifice, society and class, and family.

Furthermore, these themes form a reflection of the dynamic human thought of the struggles of immigrants seeking new conditions. Next, would like to discuss the comparison of the sociocultural effect(s) of immigration on the livelihood of immigrants (as mentioned previously) of both texts. Sociocultural combines the social and cultural factors in a given set. In Interpreter of Maladies, although the nine short stories are distinct, they share a common sociocultural impact, as in all the collected short stories, the characters struggle with identifying with the roots following immigration to the New World.

This is apparent by the lifestyle choices conducted by the main characters, for example, in the “Interpreter of Maladies,” Mr. And Mrs. Das don’t attempt to teach their children about their customs or heritage, as they’re consumed in the materialistic aspects of life). Therefore, the main sociocultural effect(s) of immigration on the livelihood of immigrants in Interpreter of Maladies is the widening gap of the failure to balance both the retaining their roots and its customs and heritage, and the assimilation to the New World, which impacted a limited scope of thought when it came to crosscontextual thinking.

In The House of Sand and Fog, since it’s a novel with a prescribed set of characters and plot, then it’s simpler to detect the sociocultural effects of immigration on the livelihood of immigrants. Therefore, the main sociocultural effect(s) of immigration on the livelihood of immigrants in The House of Sand and Fog is the emphasis on the struggles of obtaining stability that would affect the depth in prosperity of a family. Now to provide the comparison of sociocultural effects of immigration on the livelihood of immigrants in both texts…

Based on contextual evidence, the main similarities of the two texts regarding this theme are the following: Difficulty of the main characters to transition into a new nation; dynamic message of cultural awareness, and the ability to use empathy to connect with the individuals’ in their community/culture. The main differences between the two texts regarding this theme are the following: Interpreter of Maladies uses the theme of adversity in spiritual terms, whereas The House of Sand and Fog uses the theme of adversity in materialistic terms.

To further explain, in the Interpreter of Maladies, the main characters in each short story face (to an extent) adverse circumstances, as the story transitions, Lahiri provides a flowing structure that shows the multitude of lessons learned by the characters who face the adversity. This is opposed to The House of Sand and Fog, where the protagonist, Massoud Behrani, uses the adversity to propel forward and provide a good life for his family (transition to prosperity).

An additional difference is that in the Interpreter of Maladies there is emphasis on the short-term effects of consequences, whereas The House of Sand and Fog, focuses on the long-term effects of consequences. Overall, both texts seek to provide the readers a better understanding of the conditions of the immigrants through thought-provoking testimonies. Now to provide a comparison of the themes used in both texts… As mentioned previously both texts have used themes to convey a message.

For the Interpreter of Maladies, themes {common among the short stories} present {but not limited to} are vulnerability, interconnection of relationships among characters, and suffering. For The House of Sand and Fog, the themes present {but not limited to} in the novel are sacrifice, society and class, and family. Based on the analysis the similar themes between the two texts would be suffering, family, and sacrifice. Suffering can be present in both texts, as the sequence of main characters in each text face both external and internal obstacles affecting their livelihood through a brief lapse of time.

This can be seen in the Interpreter of Maladies, as in each short stories, there is a conflict present. For example, in the short story, “When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine,” Mr. Pirzada’s home country, East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh) is in turmoil, as it’s in a civil war. The civil war brought a period of suffering, as the narrator states, “Teachers were dragged onto streets and shot, women dragged into barracks and raped,” (Lahiri, pg. 23). The events unfolded would foreshadow Mr. Pirzada outlook on life.

Similarly, in The House of Sand and Fog, the main character, Behrani, faces suffering by working in low-end jobs in order to provide a living for his family. The next theme for comparison is family. In the Interpreter of Maladies, all the nine short stories, use the connection of family to move through moral/ethical obstacles. For example, in the short story “A Temporary Matter,” the spark off of electricity, allowed for the couple to reconnect, as there was halt in spiritual connection among the two, thus strengthening the family unit.

In comparison, in The House of Sand and Fog, the house (of Kathy Nicolo) that was sought after, was a way for Behrani to strengthen his ties with his family, as it would prove to his family that he was an effective guardian worthy of their kinship (Debus III, pg. 76). Finally, the last theme for comparison is sacrifice. In the Interpreter of Maladies, the short story, “Interpreter of Maladies,” Mrs. Das sacrifices her fidelity to explore a new potential relationship. In The House of Sand and Fog, Behrani, sacrifices his morality in order to retain the home he bought for his family against the protest of Nicolo.

Overall, these similarities provide a larger context on the interpersonal functions of the characters in the two texts. Now to provide a contrast of the themes used in both texts… As mentioned previously both texts have used themes to convey a message. For the Interpreter of Maladies, themes {common among the short stories} present {but not limited to} are vulnerability, interconnection of relationships among characters, and suffering. For The House of Sand and Fog, the themes present {but not limited to} in the novel are sacrifice, society and class, and family.

Based on the analysis, the differences in themes are society and class, conflict, and mood. For the first difference, society and class, in the Interpreter of Maladies, the short stories share a common goal: balancing their roots and new country of residence, as evident by the main characters facing the challenges of seeking to learn their culture. Whereas, in The House of Sand and Fog, the goal was ascension in social status, as evident by the main character trying to regain his honor that once was settled in Iran.

The next difference, conflict, in the Interpreter of Maladies, the main type conflict is man vs self, whereas in The House of Sand and Fog, the main type of conflict is man vs man. Finally, the last theme for contrast is mood. In the Interpreter of Maladies, the mood provides elements of mysticism, whereas in The House of Sand and Fog the mood provides surrealism. Overall, these differences provide a larger context on the interpersonal functions of the characters in the two texts.

In conclusion, after analyzing the two texts, there was greater understanding of the elements of immigration in the context of literature. This allowed for a more multi-dimensional viewpoint on the human condition of life enhancement through the pattern of movements. Coming from an immigrant background, brought more appreciation to the beauty of literature and its support towards a greater conscious understanding on the change in transcendental writing through the time. Therefore, the two texts provided another spatial universe to explore the cosmetics of cross-contextual analysis.

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