Interpreter of Maladies


Jhumpa Lahiri

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The doctor has a practice where Mr. Kapasi has a second job working as an interpreter, translating maladies of patients who do not speak the physician’s language. This is the same doctor that Mr. Kapasi had taken his ill son to before he died. Mr. Kapasi took the job at the doctor’s office in order to pay for his son’s care before his death.

The doctor Quotes in Interpreter of Maladies

The Interpreter of Maladies quotes below are all either spoken by The doctor or refer to The doctor. 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

She would write to him, asking about his days interpreting at the doctor’s office, and he would respond eloquently, choosing only the most entertaining anecdotes, ones that would make her laugh out loud as she read them in her house in New Jersey. In time she would reveal the disappointment of her marriage, and he his. In this way their friendship would grow, and flourish.

Related Characters: Mr. Kapasi, Mrs. Das, The doctor
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:

They reached Konarak at two-thirty. The temple, made of sandstone, was a massive pyramid-like structure in the shape of a chariot. It was dedicated to the great master of life, the sun […] “It says the temple occupies about a hundred and seventy acres of land,” Mr. Das said, reading from his book.

Related Characters: Mr. Das (speaker), Mr. Kapasi, Mr. Das, Bobby, Ronny, The doctor
Related Symbols: The Sun Temple
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:
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The doctor Character Timeline in Interpreter of Maladies

The timeline below shows where the character The doctor appears in Interpreter of Maladies. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Interpreter of Maladies
Knowledge and Fantasy Theme Icon
Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Language and Communication  Theme Icon
...spots. He mentions that he has a second job working as an interpreter in a doctor’s office, translating for patients who do not speak the doctor’s language. Mrs. Das is intrigued... (full context)
Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Guilt and Responsibility Theme Icon
Mr. Kapasi had only taken the job in the doctor’s office to pay for the medical bills of an ill son, who has since passed... (full context)