In The Third and Final Continent by Jhumpa Lahiri we have the theme of change, connection, control, identity and struggle. Taken from her. The Third and Final Continent. By Jhumpa Lahiri ยท June 21, P. The New Yorker, June 21, P. Short story about a married. The author of the story collection Snow in May chooses a contemporary favourite from Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Interpreter of Maladies.

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In The Third and Final Continent by Jhumpa Lahiri we have the theme of change, connection, control, identity and struggle. Taken from her Interpreter of Maladies collection the story is narrated in the snd person by an unnamed male narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Lahiri may be exploring the theme of connection.

The narrator while living with Mrs Croft and afterwards makes a connection with Mrs Croft. He is amazed that she is one hundred and three years old and knows that Mrs Andd is from a generation that has long passed by.

Though it seems that both the narrator and Mrs Croft may have very little in common. Simple things like sitting with Mrs Croft when the narrator returns home from work strengthens the bond that the narrator feels he has with Mrs Croft.

She is also a proud woman. Something that is noticeable by the fact that she on several occasions reminds the narrator that America has put a man on the moon.

Something he does not necessarily like. This sense of control may play on the theme of identity. The narrator struggled when he was in London. Getting used to his environment and just as Finak Croft is a proud American.

The narrator may also be a proud Indian. He may not necessarily be open to change but he knows he must when he is in London.


It is also interesting that the narrator follows family tradition when he marries Mala. He is not physically attracted to her and if anything their first five nights together the narrator is cold towards Mala.

Something which would further play on the theme of connection. However the narrator knows that he must grow to love Mala. Though he also knows that this will take time as they are in reality strangers to each other. It is also noticeable that the narrator is unable to look after himself when he first arrives in America.

His diet appears to consist of just cornflakes. This may be important as the narrator is most likely used to a woman preparing his food for him. Something that leaves the reader suspecting that Mala will have a traditional role to play in her marriage to the narrator. It may also be a case that Lahiri is attempting to highlight the difficulties that an immigrant can incur while trying to balance their own culture with a new culture.

Short Story Analysis: The Third and Final Continent by Jhumpa Lahiri – The Sitting Bee

Something that Mala at first has difficulty with. Just as the narrator had difficulty with the differences in culture when he lived in London. Though this is a simple change it is still nonetheless important as it highlights the struggle that Mala may feel trying to acclimatize to life in America.

They are after all living in a different lahiiri. A world that they have settled in. There is also a sense that the narrator knows that he is on a journey. He is a married man who has yet to get to know his wife. He is also living in a country in whereby things are culturally different.

The end of the story is also interesting as the reader gets an insight into how well the narrator and Mala have adapted to life in America. They have settled into their own home, which they own, and their son is in Harvard. It is also interesting that neither the narrator nor Mala have forgotten their traditional values. Ensuring that their son is able to speak Bengali. The fact that the narrator and Mala are also American citizens could be important as it suggests that they have embraced life in America while still not forgetting India.


The reader aware that the narrator, Mala and their son visit India every few years. Despite the concerns that the narrator had about being married to Mala. He has not only overcome any anxiety he has but he has remained married to Mala.

The Third and Final Continent by Jhumpa Lahiri

If anything the narrator and Mala have flourished. Apprehensions the narrator too had when he moved to London.

It is these apprehensions that may have formed the finzl connection or spark that resulted in the narrator and Mala having a successful and happy marriage. Cite Post McManus, Dermot. The Sitting Bee, 29 Apr. Hard working Indian immigrant who acclimatizes well to life in a new country.

Thinks of others and has strong family values. Your email address will not be published.

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“The Third and Final Continent”

Facebook Twitter Email Print. Dermot Post Author August 3, 8: Thanks for highlighting that error. Chandan September 6, 3: Give character sketch of narrator. Dermot Post Author September 6, 3: Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Sorry, your blog cannot jhumla posts by email.