Posted at 10.15.2018
Keywords: the 3rd and final continent analysis
The character I've chosen for research from Jhumpa Lahiri brief story, "THE 3RD and Final Continent, " is the narrator, a very dynamic identity who adapts to the practices and life-style of the continents he vacations to especially America. The narrator exhibits the most characteristics than any character in the story because he's discussing his life and the activities that he requires when encountering a certain obstacle. The narrator also shows the most change than other character. Living from one continent to another continent and then to another continent again can dramatically change how a person lives, feels, and even eat. Despite all the changes that he experience he still retains some traditions from his culture of origins by making use of a stranger that he meets. This is an optimistic characteristic that distinguishes the narrator from some other character in the story. The narrator's life contrasts slightly to other immigrants because they need to all undergo a certain type of change and must stress about the passage of traditions with their American delivered children. The life span of the narrator is a specific exemplory case of what most immigrants must proceed through when residing in a new continent.
The firmness of the narrator looks relatively non enthusiastic or plain due to the fact that both of his parents have passed away. He shows strong love and esteem for his parents. "Before we cremated her I had cleaned out each of her fingernails with a hairpin. I needed assumed the role of eldest kid, and had touched the fire to her temple; to release her tormented soul to heaven" (Jhumpa Lahiri 654). The narrator is also a very well informed man, a graduate from LSE (London School of Economics), and he also has a knack for learning new things. "I went to lectures at LSE. I read every article and advertisements, so I would grow acquainted with things, so when my eyes grew fatigued I slept" (Lahiri 650-651).
The narrator encounters an internal issue: how can he be a modern North american Indian and hold on to a few of the old traditional Indian ways at the same time? His quest remains with the labor and birth of his son, worried that his son will forget his Indian customs. "So we drive to Cambridge to visit him, or bring him home for a weekend, so that he can eat rice with us along with his hands, and speak in Bengali, things we sometimes stress he will no more do after we die" (Lahiri 662). The narrator tells to his son the journey of himself making it through in three completely different continents as a way for his son to gain the morale that he must get over any obstacle. There is certainly evidence in the story which suggest that the narrator is trying to find alternatives for his problem because he tries to retain some of his old traditional ways by consuming egg curry and walking barefoot in the house and being modern by revealing his partner that she does not have to wear her sari on a regular basis. "And took changes preparing food pots of egg curry, which we ate with our hands on a table covered with newspaper publishers" (Lahiri 650). "You don't have to cover you brain, "I said. " I don't mind. It doesn't matter here" (Lahiri 660). Cooking egg curry is his main way of keeping Indian tradition alive. He cooks egg curry in India, in the congested room in London, and even in his new home in America. He can never abandon his roots and obeys every part of his Indian culture. "I deemed the proposition with neither objection nor enthusiasm. It had been a duty expected of me, as it was expected of every man" (Lahiri 654). The neutral remarks that he makes towards his arrange marriage shows that they are a very spiritual man, keeping alive some aspect of his tradition to permit him to survive the toughest of that time period.
The narrator is astounded when he realizes from Mrs. Croft's daughter Helen that his land woman is over a century years of age. "I was mortified. I had fashioned assumed Mrs. Croft was in her eighties, perhaps as old as ninety" (Lahiri 657). He cannot bare the fact of the widow living alone by herself because he once acquired close encounters with a widow before which drove her insane, his mom. "Widowhood had influenced my own mother crazy. What pained me the most was to see her so unguarded. . . Therefore it was my job to sit down by mother's feet" (Lahiri 657). When he realizes that Mrs. Croft is very old in addition to a widow for such a long time he begins to take care of her as if she was his own mom. "At times I came downstairs prior to going to sleep, to be sure she was sitting upright on the bench, or was safe I her bedroom" (Lahiri 658). This shows the narrator's strong connection between stranger and stranger which later strengthens his relationship with Mala.
His encounters with his land girl, Mrs. Croft led him along with his new life in America. He shows admiration for Mrs. Croft because she's survived for such a long time while keeping most of her old customs intact and transferring them on to her children. "She added that it was also poor for a female of Helen's place to reveal her age and also to wear a dress so high above the ankle joint" (Lahiri 657). This paves the way for how the narrator should live his life and train his kid about Indian customs. Mrs. Croft also symbolizes the narrator's mother expressing that Maya "is a perfect lady!" (Lahiri 662), as though she is approving of Maya to be the narrator's partner.
"For immigrants, the obstacles of exile, the loneliness, the frequent sense of alienation, the knowledge of and desiring a lost world, tend to be more explicit and distressing than for his or her children. Alternatively, the situation for the kids of immigrants, those with strong ties to their country of origin, is that they feel neither one thing nor the other" (Lahiri 663-664). This quote from Lahiri herself is actually the actual theme of "THE 3RD and Final Continent" is all about. It strongly interprets the narrator's identity in the storyplot as an immigrant and the emotions that he feels when he enters a new country. It also explains the interior conflict in which he is endeavoring to overcome of being a modern Indian and a normal Indian at the same time, while trying to explain to his boy how important it is to keep a little bit of tradition alive within you. Although don't assume all immigrant's life in the us can relate with the narrators, it is true however that each of them must undergo some type of change when residing in a fresh country for the first time.
Lahiri, Jhumpa. "Chapter 20/Fiction FOR EVEN MORE Reading. " Books Reading, Reacting, Writing. 7th ed. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010. 650-64. Print.