Interpreter Summaries (Responses)
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TimestampStory NameBrief Summary of the StoryMessage/Theme of the storyDevices that are used in the storyGroup Members
3/10/2016 10:42:06A Temporary MatterShukumar and Shoba are a couple that do not communicate well until the power goes out an hour each day for five days, when the power goes out they share secrets with each other. Shoba reveals deep secrets while Shukumar reveal unimportant secrets leading towards separate living situations.communication and trust are an important part of every relationships. The lack of power simplifies life and bring people closer together.the lack of electricity is used to bring the couple together to reveal secrets of the past.Aspen Pesheck, Courtney Betts, Brent Layson
3/10/2016 10:42:46The Third and Final ContinentThere is an Indian man who moves from India to the UK and then to the United States. He rents a room from a very old woman, Mrs. Croft, who has a surprisingly large impact on his life. The man moves out and rents a house for himself and his wife (in an arranged marriage) which they live in when she arrives in America. At first they don't know each other but over time their relationship grows strong. In fact, when the man's wife and himself visit Mrs. Croft one last time before the elderly woman's death, the man realizes what a positive addition his boarder was to his life. Love transcends culture, age, race, and creed.Descriptive language is used throughout the story, most notably in the descriptions of Mrs. Croft, her appearance, and that of her home.Seamus and Amber
3/10/2016 10:48:55SexyA woman works at an office and has an affair with a man at an office and observes how another couple is going through a divorce because of an affair.
The message could be to pay attention to how you treat others and that cheating is a bad thing
The many different places set different moods, like in her office space she is lonely, taj mahal and the mapparium represent how she's trying to find out more about dev and his roots. Dev, the child whom she babysat changed her views on what she was doing and stopped cheating
Jack wood, Ethan Fuller, Athena Goppold
3/10/2016 10:48:58When Mr. Pizada Comes to DineThere is a man who hails from India, and arrives toward Pakistan, forced to leave behind his beloved family for research study. He arrives at a girl called Lilia's house to dine each night, that is until the 1971 Indian/Pakistan conflict which divides them. The narrator, Lilia, who is in her 10th year, is observing that her situation is relatively privileged in comparison to Mr. Pizada's own daughters and realizes the candy he consistently gives to her is a prayer for the safely of his own daughters during this decades old conflict.
Identity struggle is particularly important in this story regarding Mr. Pizada. He is from Pakistan, and he befriends an Indian family, at the same time of the conflict between such races. Also the importance of culture and generation, Lilith's parents hold strong political views regarding this conflict, mainly due to their experiences and their age, but Lilith is an American girl who hasn't nearly as much life experience as her parents or an understanding of the world or the nature of conflict. She is shaped by a different society, a bourgeois society, in contrast to her parents who are from India. She is shaped by American culture and propaganda, whereas her parents are not. Even for Mr. Pizada the holiday of "Halloween" is strange to him.
At the same time they share many similarities. They look and behave the same, even in some cultural situations. Lilith believes that the difference between Pizada and her family are relatively arbitrary, as evident by the fact that when her father declares him no longer Indian, she cannot find the difference or understand why.
A device the author utilizes includes having the story of conflict and cultural differences be told in the perspective of a ten year old, which is a very strange and unique way to tell the story, since most of the other stories are told in the perspective of an adult in a messed up relationship.
Also with the fact that this girl is interested in learning about other history but she is told not to by her teacher and to put an emphasis on American history. Her quest for understanding other culture is suppressed by her instructor, an example of how much American cares about students understanding their history.
Lionel Robert, Aryka, and Christine
3/10/2016 10:49:21This Blessed HouseTwo people who were married after barely knowing each other who have polar opposite personalities. The girl, Twinkle, is very outgoing and a loves being around people. Sanjeev is a textbook introvert. Twinkle loves all of the Christian things they find in their home and Sanjeev hates them. They throw a party and they act very differently in the social situation.Twinkle is doing much better in the US because she has assimilated the culture and way of life here, whereas Sanjeev is not doing well socially because he is strictly sticking to his Indian ways of living. A message/theme in this could be about how people need to adapt to succeed.
Another recurring theme in the story is the relationship between Twinkle and Sanjeev and how they need to compromise about all of the Christian artifacts they are finding, but Twinkle is not cooperating or listening to Sanjeev’s opinions very well. They don’t communicate or compromise well so that is why they are so distant from each other, so that could be another theme.
Twinkle is used as a symbol of American cultures and how to do well for yourself in the US.
The Christian artifacts are symbols of the problems in Twinkle and Sanjeev’s relationship. Their uglier sides are shown when they are talking about the objects and that is when Twinkle’s immaturity and selfishness are shown, and when Sanjeev’s insecurity also comes out.
Laura, Chase, Justin
3/10/2016 10:49:30The Treatment of Bibi HaldarBibi Haldar suffers from sickness that no one understands. People try to give her treatments but none of the treatments work. Her forces her to live in a small room that only family knows about. Bibi Haldar is jealous of all the married couples. She wants to be married. Her family takes her to a special doctor and the doctor says the only way shell be cured is if she has a husband. Her family is on the search for a husband and they try to teach Bibi to be a good wife. She doesn't find a husband. Bibi locks herself into the room and when her family finally finds her she is four months pregnant. She doesn't remember how or anything that happened. In the end her baby cures her.Companionship is more likely to heal someone than isolationThis situation connects to the story of Mary and Baby Jesus in how they bring people together and heal. Bibi Haldar's baby cured her and brought her out of isolation. Treatment comes in unexpected ways. The doctor says that relations will calm her blood and everyone figured that meant she needed a husband but the baby did the same thing. Aj, Carly, Mark
3/10/2016 10:50:49Mrs. Sen's Mrs. Sens is a babysitter for Elliot, who is responsible for feeding and entertaining Elliot. Throughout the story Mrs. Sen strives to obtain her driver's permit. Mrs. Sen, an unenthusiastic drive, would Elliot to the market to get fish. Mrs. Sen eventually decides to drive Elliot alone and gets involved in a car accident which ends their relationship. The message of the story is the singularity culture of the US vs the community culture of India. key - independence
car - everyone in the US drives and in India they have chauffers
Renan Martins, Wouter Ritsema, Liam Cares
3/10/2016 10:52:21Interpreter of MaladiesThe Das family is visiting India and the car driver is having issues with his wife due to a lack of communication. Mr and Mrs. Das have been together since high school but don't love each other anymore and find other things to put their time and interests into besides each other. The Das’s are traveling around India and the driver finds an interest and desire in Mrs Das because his relationship isn't in a good place. Mrs. Das admits to cheating on her husband to Mr. Kapasi and he then realizes how much that hurt their relationship even though Mr. Das doesn't know Bobby isn't his son.
Mr. Kapasi is unhappy with his wife and is tired of their relationship which is why he is fond of Mrs. Das. At the end he appreciates his wife more and is willing to put more effort into their relationship again because he realizes he is lucky to have a better marriage than the Das’s.
They constantly follow the family, messing with them and stealing food and eventually beating Bobby. This represents Ms. Das’s own unfaithfulness, and how it follows her everywhere through Bobby’s presence. Bobby is a physical representation of her cheating, which she cannot ever get rid of.
They represent isolation. “She was lost behind her sunglasses, ignoring her husband’s request that she pose for another photo…” They are a manifestation of her isolation and general discontent with her family. This may stem from the fact that Bobby constantly reminds her of cheating on Mr. Das.
It was Mr. Das’s way of seeing what he wants to see, not the reality of their family and his relationship.
Meghan, Luc, Rachel
3/10/2016 12:14:08When Mr.Pirzada Came to DineA botanist from Dacca gets an internship to come and analyze the mutation of the leaves on a campus. he has to leave his family behind but becomes close with a professors family during his stay in America. He becomes especially close with the daughter whom reminds him of his on (7). They watch the news every night (as a family) and they see that a war broke out in Dacca where his family lives. He lost contact with them for a long time but he tries to recreate the same relationship he has with his daughters with the American daughter, by bringing her candy every visit. When he returns to Dacca he finds his family is safe and he writes the family telling them the news. The little girls doesn't share the same feelings of contentment.Life continues even if you aren't there. (They have lived them separately not knowing how the others doing but when they regroup everything's fine and pretty much the same.)-Candy
-Changing Leaves
Lonnique Brewer Claire Bauer Lucas Kreutzer
3/10/2016 12:14:16Mrs. SensThis story is about an old Indian lady, Mrs. Sens, who recently moved to America. She babysits a little boy named Elliot. She lives in a university apartment with her husband. She has trouble adjusting to life in America, learning to drive a car etc. She sits down for hours every day and chops up vegetables with her knife, like she did back in India except there is nobody to do it with her. At the end, Elliot grows up and doesn't need a babysitter any more - he gets a house key.In Mrs. Sens, Lahiri shows us how individuality is such an integral part of being an American. In India, all Mrs. Sens had to do was shout and the whole village would come running. In America, everyone drives their own car, works to earn money for themselves and like everything from the store packaged and ready to eat. Elliot gains independence and is finally old enough to have his own house key, so instead of going to Mrs. Sen's house every day, he just goes home to an empty house.
The knife symbolizes the difference in culture between India and America. They would all share their knives and chop vegetables all day together, while in America she is alone, chopping with one knife by herself. The car symbolizes independence and being in America. There are certain things that all Americans have to do on the way to becoming an adult, and driving is one of those main things. The key is that most of the important moments of growth in American life happen by ourselves, not for or with anyone else (e.g. getting into college, getting a license, sleeping without a teddy bear for the first time etc).
Zaria, Max, Mark
3/10/2016 12:17:11This Blessed HouseA couple, together for four months, bought a new house which has several Christian-related items scattered throughout it. The wife, Twinkle, is fascinated with these items and puts them up throughout the house. Sanjeev, the husband, does not want to decorate the house with Christian decorations. He asked her to take them down, but she won't because she believes the house to be blessed, which helps her cook. They decide to host a party, but before the party, they find statue of Mary. Twinkle wants to move the statue where people can see it well, but Sanjeev does not like it. Twinkle go to take a bubble bath and Sanjeev said he will move it. Twinkle cried. So Sanjeev decided to move it to the side of their yard and Twinkle agreed. The guests make a game out of finding the Christian decorations. This leads to Sanjeev eventually agreeing to leave the decorations up. Compromise is the key to relationships. St. Mary's statue, various Christian itemsEunchong, Daniel
3/10/2016 12:17:37The Real DurwanBoori Ma was a sweeper of the stairwell and the gate keeper of a gate at an apartment building. She would clean and get to know everyone that lived there, gaining trust and many friendship.. At the end of the story she was accused of allowing people to come into the building to steal things as construction to rebuild was going on, by improving things around their building made peoples attitudes change towards each other and by this they lost that unity of a community that they had before. Don't be consumed by materialistic things; don't allow the materialistic things that you gain divide you from the important things you've always had that stood as an importance.stair, sink, keys, community, friendship,
Darius Reeves, Jordyn Dresch, Sakinaah Richmond
3/10/2016 12:23:20A Temporary Matter
There is a snowstorm coming and the electricity is about to go out. A young couple whose names are Shoba and Shukumar are forced to converse with each other, something they rarely do. The electricity will be out for the next 5 days so Shoba comes up with the idea of sharing secrets. Before all of this happened, we are told that Shoba has had a miscarriage and Shukmuar and Shoba’s relationship has suffered because of it. Some o the secrets they tell are : Shoba looked in Shukumar’s address book to see if he had written her name, Shukumar forgot to tip a waiter, Shoba went out drinking instead of staying with family, Shukumar admitted to cheating on an exam, Shukumar also kept a picture of another women in his wallet, Shoba didn’t tell Shukumar about a piece of food on his chin. In the end, Shoba tells Shukumar that she is moving out. Shukumar is angry and ends up telling her the gender of the baby and describing him, a secret that she never wanted to know. They end up both crying on the floor.
In the story, we see that a major event like the blackouts can cause the truth to come out. Once the power goes out, Shukumar uses the opportunity to try and connect with his wife. They use the darkness as a way/ excuse to talk to each other like they didn’t do before. Once the light comes back on, they end up ending their relationship. This shows that genuinely communicating with your partner can help convey your ideas and thoughts you were never able to tell such as secrets. You might even need a major event to happen in order for people to start talking. Being able to talk freely and openly can be a good thing or a bad thing. In Shukumar’s case, it ended poorly.
The story uses a sort of “parallel structure”. This means that the story is structured the same throughout, which is the couple talking to each other in the dark everyday. It always comes back to the same story like a cycle. The cycle is also another device that she uses. In a relationship, once you get into a cycle, the relationship because bland because there are no more surprises happening. This is one reason that their relationship has fallen apart. Chris Chen , Matthew D. Cude, Anthony Blanks
3/10/2016 12:26:29The Third and Final Continent The Third and Final Continent is about a man he left india to go to London to finish studying, after a while he left to Boston for a job at MIT and he's also married, through an arranged marriage done by his brother. He stays at an apartment at the YMCA and when he wife, Mala, is about to come, he rents a house that is owned by Mrs. Croft. She has rules for him and they have specific routine. When he meets her daughter, she talks about her and how she is sick. He offers to help her out and check in on her. When he realizes that Mala will be new to the country, he decides to find a new place to live. When his wife comes they move into a new house they get to know each other When they go on a date, they become closer because of Mrs. Croft. And they keep going on dates.About a month later, Mrs. Croft dies and then we are in present day, where they have a son who goes to Harvard and he is happy.The message of the story is making the most of being in a new place and finding fortune in a new place. He misses being in India and he finds hope and acceptance in Boston. Some of the things that were used over again was the routine that he and Mrs. Croft had and the exploring of Boston with his wife. Khadija and Ronald
3/10/2016 12:26:48Interpreter of Maladiesan american/indian family goes goes on vacation to a temple of love in india, with a driver that is very knowledgeable. the wife wears sunglasses to divid herself form her family and the world. the husband uses his camera to block out most of the world to see only the best views. The driver has a slight romantic interest in the wife, because his own wife was arranged, and he was not very happy with the marriage, however the wife is only interested in the information he has about the temple. later it comes out that the wife had a one time affair, and as a result, had a third kid. later she tells the driver that she is unhappy with her life, and asks the driver what she should do, to which he replied that he couldn't help and that she had to fix it on her own. After that she accidentally leads monkeys to her son (the affair one) and they attack him while the family is not looking.the Father is blind to the truth. the wife is unhappy with her life, and is actually allowing the mistakes of her past to harm her current family and children. the driver realizes that his arranged marriage is not as bad as he thinks is is. the contrast of the lovers set in stone in the temple walls vs. the extremely unstable marriage of the husband and wife, as well as the driver symbolism: sunglasses, camera, temple, moneys, ricepuffs,
Thomas Burke, Andrew Marquardt, Maya Burgard
3/11/2016 10:00:34The real DurwanBoori ma is a stair sweeper for an apartment building, but she’s not a real Durwan. Because she kept suspicious characters out at night and entertained during the day, the residents allowed her to stay, paying her with tea and company. She is a very old woman who seems to be lying about her past life.Then the Dalas’s buy a water basin for themselves and the apartment complex. After everyone in the building tries to compete with each other to show they’re better. Basin gets stolen, Boori Ma gets fired, then she is homeless for the rest of the story, even though she says she didn’t steal it.Lahiri’s message to us as readers is to be content with and value what we have instead of trying to compete with others. Another message is to learn that every every step ahead comes with a price.
the basin is a symbol of competitive jealousy.
The bugs on boori ma could be a symbol of her homelessness
Jada, Husayn, Madie cox
3/11/2016 11:50:46The Treatment of Bibi Haldar
A lady named Bibi Haldar has some strange disorder/illness (probably epilepsy). She essentially couches with her cousin. It is later revealed in the story that her father, a mathematician, worked endless hours trying to discover a cure to her ailment. He had some success documenting her problem and searching for possible cures or treatments to help her, but his findings were lost after he died, and people no longer helped Bibi Haldar like her father had. The cousin owns a small mom ‘n’ pop cosmetic shop, and she does administrative work for him on the top floor out of view from the public. She, however, isn’t given any monetary compensation for her work. Her pay is essentially food, shelter, and someone to care for her during her seizures. She tried a bunch of voodoo, witchdoctor treatments at the recommendation of her doctor, but to no avail. Ultimately, her doctor realizes that she’s extremely lonely, suggests that the only cure to her illness is for her to get married. She grows ecstatic about the doctor’s prescription and immediately plans for her wedding. She does things to make herself more presentable such as getting her portrait taken and applying makeup. Her cousin is reluctant to help her because a lot of the preparation for the wedding requires Bibi to spend her cousins money. Money that he feels will go to waste, as no one will want Bibi as a wife because marrying her is too risky and she does not possess the qualities that most people want to see in a wife. Later, her cousin’s wife becomes pregnant. Bibi, still very symptomatic, is quarantined, and gradually her cousin pays her less attention. Moreover, her cousin abandons her completely after his shop closes due to a lack of business, leaving her with nothing but pocket change. Bibi ends up living completely by herself, isolated from everyone for months. It is later revealed that Bibi becomes pregnant herself. Her neighbors take it upon themselves to find the assailants, but are left clueless, so they just help nurse her child. Though it was short lived, and she claims she doesn’t even remember having it, Bibi leaves the experience fulfilled.
Marriage is essential for human happiness because going throughout life alone is unhealthy and depressing. The birth of Bibi’s child gives Bibi direction and responsibilities that she is able to follow. This direction and responsibility helps Bibi get better.
Her illness is used as a metaphor. Her isolation represents loneliness.Ben G. and Alex H.
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