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Communication As a Key in Maintaining a Healthy Marriage in A Temporary Matter: Critical Analysis

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Prompt one states that Lahiri’s subject is not loved failure but the opportunity that an artful spouse, like an artful writer, can make a failure of that. I agree with that statement because people’s opinions on love and marriage can be altered just from one person’s wrongdoing. The short story of “Sexy” exhibits this the best by explaining an affair between Dev and Miranda who are both married. If you truly wait for the right person and claim you “love” them you should not feel the need to cheat and hurt that person you claim you love. One major theme of Interpreter of maladies was displayed in the first short story, A Temporary Matter, that communication is a key role of maintaining a healthy marriage. The failure of their marriages in both stories might be due to the fact that they have ceased spending time with each other to maintain that level of love.

In a temporary matter, Shakumar and Shoba suffered through the loss of their stillborn child. After that incident occurred the communication between them withered and they had seemed to become very skilled at purposefully avoiding and ignoring each other. The title a Temporary matter hints that their marriage is approaching dissolution. The silence between them ends up destroying them and turns them into two totally different people. Reading the story you might be persuaded by shakumar because it is told with more of his opinions, he thought the blackouts signified intimacy and being honest with each other. The reason they started talking was that the blackouts forced them to light candles and eat with each other, it says in the book, “Something happened when the house was dark. They were able to talk to each other again”(19). Shakumar views these blackouts as a time to reconnect and to gain hope that their relationship will return to how it used to be. This next quote displays how Shoba viewed these blackouts as a time to say negative and honest things, “She’d been irritated with him for some reason, and so she’d let him go on and on, about securing his fellowship for the following semester, without putting a finger to her chin as a signal.” At the end of the story, they become very honest with each other saying things they never thought they would hear. Shoba said, “I’ve been looking for an apartment and I’ve found one,” she said, narrowing her eyes on something, it seemed, behind his left shoulder” meaning she wanted to separate from him. (21)

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Their love had failed since they lost communication after the loss of their child and they grieved in the wrong way and ended up losing each other.

Love does not just fail, it is not the fault of love and is more the fault of that artful spouse. “Sexy” shows the difference between love and lust and how it can ruin a relationship. Miranda and Dev are having an affair while Dev’s wife is gone on a trip to India. Miranda is easily seduced due to her lack of love and attention she has in her life so when Dev calls Miranda, “Sexy”(91) it gets to her mind and she feels loved. However, later in the short story, a little boy named Rohin says, “You’re sexy”(107) which makes Miranda come to her senses that it is not so special and is very common. Dev did not think much of his wrongdoing as he states, “Somehow, without the wife there, it didn’t seem so wrong. At first, Miranda and Dev spent every night together, almost.” Once Dev’s wife returns he can only see Miranda on Sundays when he puts on gym clothes and tells his wife that he was going for a jog along the river. Lust can mean when someone has a very strong sexual desire for another person or is just with that person because they want something from them. In sexy I believe Dev is only with Miranda for lust reasons but makes it seem to her that he actually cares and loves her by telling her she’s sexy. Miranda has deeply fallen for Dev and doesn’t notice the reality of her mistakes and damage she is causing to herself and others. Dev does not notice the small things that you usually notice when you love someone like her are garments.

In conclusion, Jhumpa Lahiri’s point is that love does not fail it is the fault of the artful spouse or writer. That statement is true because love never fails its the fault of an artful spouse or writer that makes it seem like a failure. One person’s wrongdoing can change someone’s knowledge or thoughts on love. If you are in a relationship and something goes wrong which causes you to get heartbroken then you immediately don’t want to love again and think it is a bad thing that has failed and affected you.

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Communication As a Key in Maintaining a Healthy Marriage in A Temporary Matter: Critical Analysis. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 22, 2023, from
“Communication As a Key in Maintaining a Healthy Marriage in A Temporary Matter: Critical Analysis.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
Communication As a Key in Maintaining a Healthy Marriage in A Temporary Matter: Critical Analysis. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Sept. 2023].
Communication As a Key in Maintaining a Healthy Marriage in A Temporary Matter: Critical Analysis [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 12 [cited 2023 Sept 22]. Available from:
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