Intertwined Cultures in the Writings of Jhumpa Lahiri Essay

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Charlemagne was once quoted having said “To have a second language is to have a second soul” (Kushner 29). In achieving full comprehension of another language, one also gains insight into the culture of foreign individuals. It is common knowledge that in the modern world, English is the dominant tongue. Yet, bilingualism, even multilingualism, is a sure sign of possessing the scarce knowledge of cultural diversity. As American society becomes more accepting of various cultures in its politics and education, foreign voices also appear more in American literature. The diversity of origins of the latest young writers is vast: In The New Yorker’s 2010 “Top 20 Under 40” list of new American writers, over one-third were not born in this …show more content…
Jhumpa Lahiri’s characters are typically of Indian heritage, often with American-born children, mirroring the personal history of the author. She tends to write “spectacular stories of people who are assimilating and acculturating at different levels” (“Immigrant Experience”),who bear the scorns of life, such as marital failure, affairs, miscarriages, and the estrangement of families. This is not to say she does not celebrate the moments of beauty. Lahiri also shares the stories of falling in love, successful legacies, and the revival of lost relationships. She does all of this, and more, in a simple tone. With her characteristically plain language, she simply tells the stories of people adapting to new cultures. In 1998, Lahiri began a respectable connection with The New Yorker, in which she published a number of stories, fiction and non-fiction. In her first year, “Sexy” was published in the December 28th issue. The initial read-through surprises some readers, as it centers on the story of an American woman, Miranda, engaging in an affair with an Indian man, Dev. Even though the perspective has changed, Lahiri continues to do an exquisite job of portraying the incongruous transition from one culture to another. In “Sexy”, an exotic man she meets intrigues Miranda. At first, she is ignorant to his heritage, but through their affair, she learns of his

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