Interpreter of Maladies


Jhumpa Lahiri

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Mr. Kapasi’s wife Character Analysis

Mrs. Kapasi, wife of the tour guide Mr. Kapasi, never makes a direct appearance in “The Interpreter of Maladies.” However, Mr. Kapasi reflects on his unhappy relationship with her throughout. Mr. Kapasi works two jobs in order to provide for her and his children, partly as a result of the guilt he feels over the death of a son. Mr. Kapasi has felt disconnected from his wife ever since the passing of their child.

Mr. Kapasi’s wife Quotes in Interpreter of Maladies

The Interpreter of Maladies quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Kapasi’s wife or refer to Mr. Kapasi’s wife. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Knowledge and Fantasy Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Mariner Books edition of Interpreter of Maladies published in 1999.
Interpreter of Maladies Quotes

For this reason it flattered Mr. Kapasi that Mrs. Das was so intrigued by his job. Unlike his wife, she had reminded him of its intellectual challenges. She had also used the word “romantic.” She did not behave in a romantic way toward her husband, and yet she had used the word to describe him. He wondered if Mr. and Mrs. Das were a bad match, just as he and his wife were.

Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mr. Kapasi’s wife Character Timeline in Interpreter of Maladies

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Kapasi’s wife appears in Interpreter of Maladies. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Interpreter of Maladies
Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Guilt and Responsibility Theme Icon
...the work after the death of his son to support his family’s lifestyle and his wife’s demands for material goods, partly because of the guilt he feels over the death of... (full context)
Knowledge and Fantasy Theme Icon
Culture and Identity Theme Icon the images of naked women, Mr. Kapasi realizes that he has never seen his wife naked, even while making love. He admires the bare backs of Mrs. Das’s legs as... (full context)
Knowledge and Fantasy Theme Icon
...from her, for six weeks. He does not look forward to going home to his wife. Hoping to extend the time with Mrs. Das, Mr. Kapasi suggests taking a detour to... (full context)