The story compels us to introspect and mull over ways to tide over differences and adopt a humanist attitude towards the ‘other’.
Jagdish Batra, Professor & Former Head, English Language Centre, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
My paper takes up a story by the Booker -awardee novelist Jhumpa Lahiri in which the reader meets an individual marginalized on multiple counts: she is a woman, is old and a destitute and also belongs to a different geographical region even though linguistically there is not much of difference.
How does a community cocooned in an apartment block looks at her is the issue explored by the writer. There are all the differences except the one that is the human identity. The access to this destitute has several roadblocks based on stereotypical perception rather than any sound knowledge.
Besides, there is the self-interest that overrides moral and socio-cultural norms. The story compels us to introspect and mull over ways to tide over differences and adopt a humanist attitude towards the ‘other’.
Published in: Comparative Literature and Beyond. Prestige Books, International, New Delhi, pp. 153-160.
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