Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Do Like the Monkeys Do

The story, the Interpreter of Maladies in The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri astonishes me by the way Lahiri writes about the monkeys. As the Das family visits India and is given a tour by Mr. Kapasi, the monkeys are shown as being dangerous but also mysterious at the same time. Mr. Kapasi explains to the family that, "We call them the hanuman. They are quite common in the area" (Lahiri 47). What is not common in the area is the Das family. This family has chosen to spend their vacation in India to experience their culture and to explore their own heritage. However, they are very unfamiliar with the area just like the monkeys are unfamiliar with them. The monkeys are as curious as the Das family as they step out of the car and look at unfamiliar things.

The monkeys come up in the story at times when the Das family and Mr. Kapasi are having an uncomfortable moment. As the car became silent, Mr. Kapasi wondered what Mr. and Mrs. Das relationship was like. He knew that they bickered often. After this realization, monkeys began showing up in the trees outside of the car. To me, this symbolizes the bickering of the husband and wife but as well as the monkeys. Monkeys like to fight with each other as well as some human beings. Mr. and Mrs. Das are like monkeys that argue with one another for uncertain reasons.

Secondly, once Mrs. Das told her husband that she didn't want to get out of the car to take pictures for their Christmas cards, the monkeys began to creep upon the family like there was something wrong with them. Mrs. Das claimed that the monkeys make her feel uncomfortable, "I'm not coming. Anyway, those monkeys give me the creeps" (Lahiri 61). They give her the creeps due to the reason that the monkeys are always picking on her and her family. Animals can always sense people's emotions, such as fear.

As their son Bobby, was being attacked by the monkeys, Mr. and Mrs. Das had no idea what to do. The monkeys were hitting the little boy with a stick, pulling at his clothes, and circling him due to the reason that he had food in his hand. This situation shows a sign of an unhealthy relationship between the husband and wife. These two people do not know how to handle fearful situations. They both need the assistance of another who can pry away the mokeys off their son.

All in all, as the monkeys fight, tease, and climb trees as the Das family watches them, they are very similar to that of Mr. and Mrs. Das themsleves. This couple seems to always fight and bicker just like the monkeys do. Therefore, people are like animals in this aspect. Animals have emotions and get into arguments as shown in this story. Since monkeys are similar to that of the human race, we do like the monkeys do.

No comments: