Interpreter of Maladies

by

Jhumpa Lahiri

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The youngest child of Mr. Das and Mrs. Das, Tina often seeks her mother’s attention, wanting to participate in activities such as painting their nails together, but is ignored by Mrs. Das. Being the youngest, Tina requires the most looking after. Both Mr. and Mrs. Das are reluctant to take full responsibility for her, however, as is suggested at the beginning of the story when they argue over who should take Tina to the bathroom. Like her brothers Ronny and Bobby, Tina is excited by the sight of the Hanuman monkeys that the family encounters on an outing to the Sun Temple. Born and raised in America like her siblings and parents, she is Americanized in her ways, dress, and speech, and the sights and sounds of India are new to her.

Tina Quotes in Interpreter of Maladies

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

The first thing Mr. Kapasi had noticed when he saw Mr. and Mrs. Das, standing with their children under the portico of the hotel, was that they were very young, perhaps not even thirty. In addition to Tina they had two boys, Ronny and Bobby, who appeared very close in age and had teeth covered in a network of flashing silver wires. The family looked Indian but dressed as foreigners did, the children in stiff, brightly colored clothing and caps with translucent visors.

Related Characters: Mr. Kapasi, Mrs. Das, Mr. Das, Bobby, Ronny, Tina
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:

While Mr. Das adjusted his telephoto lens, Mrs. Das reached into her straw bag and pulled out a bottle of colorless nail polish, which she proceeded to stroke on the tip of her index finger.

The little girl stuck out her hand. “Mine too. Mommy, do mine too.”

“Leave me alone,” Mrs. Das said, blowing on her nail and turning her body slightly. “You’re making me mess up.”

Related Characters: Mrs. Das (speaker), Tina (speaker), Mr. Das
Related Symbols: The Camera
Page Number: 15-16
Explanation and Analysis:

When she whipped out the hairbrush, the slip of paper with Mr. Kapasi’s address on it fluttered away in the wind. No one but Mr. Kapasi noticed. He watched as it rose, carried higher and higher by the breeze, into the trees where the monkeys now sat, solemnly observing the scene below. Mr. Kapasi observed it too, knowing that this was the picture of the Das family he would preserve in his mind forever.

Related Characters: Mr. Kapasi, Mrs. Das, Mr. Das, Bobby, Ronny, Tina
Related Symbols: Hanuman Monkeys
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:
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Tina Character Timeline in Interpreter of Maladies

The timeline below shows where the character Tina 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
Language and Communication  Theme Icon
Guilt and Responsibility Theme Icon
...observes as Mr. Das and Mrs. Das bicker over who should accompany their young daughter, Tina, to the bathroom. Finally, Mrs. Das acquiesces and exits the car with her daughter, though... (full context)
Knowledge and Fantasy Theme Icon
Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Guilt and Responsibility Theme Icon
...Mr. Kapasi reflects that he would not normally stop so early on a tour, but Tina had complained almost immediately after he picked the family up from their hotel. The first... (full context)
Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Language and Communication  Theme Icon
While Mr. Kapasi waits with Mr. Das and his sons for Mrs. Das and Tina to return from the restroom, the older boy, Ronny, leaves the car to feed a... (full context)
Knowledge and Fantasy Theme Icon
Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Language and Communication  Theme Icon
Tina returns from the restroom, and Mr. Das asks where “Mina” is; Mr. Kapasi is struck... (full context)
Language and Communication  Theme Icon
Guilt and Responsibility Theme Icon
Mrs. Das takes out nail polish and begins painting her nails. Tina asks her mother to paint her nails as well, but Mrs. Das wants to be... (full context)
Culture and Identity Theme Icon
Language and Communication  Theme Icon
Guilt and Responsibility Theme Icon
...refuses to leave the car, and so Mr. Das walks off with Ronny, Bobby, and Tina, carrying the latter on his shoulders. Along the path, monkeys are perched. They surround Mr.... (full context)
Guilt and Responsibility Theme Icon
Tina, panicking like everyone else as she watches her brother being attacked by the monkeys, appeals... (full context)