Interpreter of Maladies
The Third and Final Continent
The final short story in the novel ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ is told in first person by a male Bengali narrator whose name we don’t find out. We find out that his father died when he was young, this caused his mother to go insane leaving him to care for her until she passed away, while his older brother worked to support the family.
His story begins in 1964 talking about his life in London after he left India. He lives in with other males, receiving an education and is eventually offered a full- time job in a library at MIT. His family back in India then arranges a wife for him whom he will fly to India to marry then fly directly to America to take up his new job. Mala, his wife, could not go to America with him because she is still waiting for her visa.
The narrator eventually finds his first home in America, where he would pay $8 every Friday to a 103 year old widow named Mrs Croft. He develops a connection with her and starts to care about Mrs Croft by the time he moves out after 6 weeks. He moves out when his wife Mala arrives in America, they are like strangers to each other as they have only met when they got married. When he takes Mala to Mrs Croft house they share their first laugh together and their relationship starts to move on from here as they continue to feel more comfortable with each other. A couple months later, the narrator comes across Mrs. Croft's obituary in the newspaper and is hit with grief.
Towards the end of the story the narrator describes his later years. He states he has a son who attends Harvard. He shows his son Mrs. Croft's house every time they pass it and admires how far he has come across three continents.
Narrator – Male Indian
Mrs Croft – 103 year old widow
Helen – Mrs Croft’s daughter
Mala – Narrator’s wife
“A vey international city”...