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Analysis of Hell Heaven

In: English and Literature

Submitted By stdonova
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Analysis of Hell-Heaven

Jhumpa Lahiri is an Indian American writer who has developed a way of writing that reflects off of events in her life and certain incidents she has endured throughout her time. Although Lahiri was not born in the heart of India, her parents passed down the passion of their culture due to spending a part of their lives in Bengali. The Bengali culture that was maintained as she grew up allowed her to apply her knowledge and experiences into her short stories.

In “Hell-Heaven”, the Bengali culture played a prominent role throughout the whole story. This story had been told through the eyes of a woman who had been recollecting on her life as a young, growing girl. Lahiri chose to use the daughter as the narrator because it was easiest for her to see the dynamics between her parents and the newcomer. The newcomer is Pranab Chakraborty, a Bengali from Calcutta studying engineering at an institute in America. He ironically came across a woman who lived in America, shared the same Bengali culture as him and was also raised in Calcutta. To come across such a familiar thing in an unfamiliar, foreign country, allowed Pranab to feel as if he wasn’t alone and had someone to share his experiences with.

Now knowing that Lahiri had parents from Bengali and she spent her years growing up in America, it is evident that her family’s culture is strongly reflected in the story “Hell-Heaven”. Living in America and having to assimilate to the American culture is easier said than done when there are parents born and raised in a different country. There is somewhat of a culture shock and question of identity once one is living in an entirely foreign world. Lahiri’s family probably went through what many immigrant families do once they settle into a new country; the desperation to learn how to assimilate yet hope they can maintain their own culture and be…...

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