Pirzada is from Dacca, then a part of Pakistan. He left behind his wife and seven daughters for a fellowship to study the foliage of New England. Dacca had been invaded by the Pakistani army and torched and shelled. Thousands of people were tortured or killed. Although Mr.
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Pirzada is from Dacca, then a part of Pakistan. He left behind his wife and seven daughters for a fellowship to study the foliage of New England. Dacca had been invaded by the Pakistani army and torched and shelled. Thousands of people were tortured or killed. Although Mr. Pirzada writes a letter to his family each week, he had not heard from them in six months. Lilia is 10 years old, living with her parents near a university north of Boston.
Her parents, originally from India, miss their homeland and seek out names similar to their own in the university directory. This is how they found Mr. In , after winning independence from England, the country was sliced in two. This partition put Hindus in India and Muslims in Pakistan.
Pirzada speaks the same language as her parents, they tell the same jokes and eat the same food. She is assured a safe life, access to education and endless opportunities.
Her father is not pleased that she does not seem to learn about the world. When Mr. Pirzada arrives, Lilia takes his coat and is rewarded with a candy. Lilia savors the candy, storing the treats in a sandalwood box that belonged to a grandmother she never met. She eats the confections with ceremony, enjoying one only after laying out her clothes for school the next day. Lilia, upon learning that Mr. Pirzada is not an Indian, watches him carefully. He takes out a silver pocket watch that is set 11 hours ahead — the time in Dacca.
Lilia marvels that Mr. Theirs was the ghost life, lagging behind where Mr. Pirzada really belonged. Lilia pays attention to the news broadcast, wondering if they would catch a glimpse of Mr. But only images of tanks and clamoring refugees fill the screen. That night, Lilia eats a piece of candy, letting it melt on her tongue while saying a prayer for Mr.
She falls asleep with sugar in her mouth, afraid to wash away the prayer by brushing her teeth. At school, Lilia is assigned a presentation on the surrender at Yorktown with her friend Dora. Kenyon catches her reading a book on Pakistan.
She is chastised. The news from Pakistan dwindles as the reports are censored. A death toll is announced along with only a recap of what is happening. More poets are executed and more villages set ablaze. In spite of this, Mr. On the other side of the world, a nation was being born. In October, Mr. She tells him that it is used to scare people.
It appears as if India will go to war with Pakistan. Lilia dresses as a witch for Halloween with her friend Dora. It is the first year she is allowed to trick-or-treat unattended. Pirzada worries, asking her parents if there is any danger. Lilia tells him not to worry.
Outside, Dora asks Lilia why Mr. Pirzada wanted to come with them. She says his daughters are missing, but immediately regrets it, as if saying it will make it true. Lilia corrects herself, saying that the girls are in another country and that their father misses them. India and Pakistan are on the brink of war. The U. They lay out a blanket for Mr.
Pirzada to sleep on the couch. The house rings with fear. In January, Mr. Pirzada flies home to what is left of Dacca. Lilia imagines Mr. He thanks their family deeply for their hospitality. She misses Mr. Since he left in January, she continued to eat a piece of candy in prayer for his family. But now there was no longer a need. Eventually, she throws the rest of the candy away. Choosing to tell this story through the eyes of a child somewhat mitigates the heavy topic.
The war between India and Pakistan in is witnessed from a distance both geographically and emotionally. The candy that Mr. Pirzada lavishes on Lilia becomes a prayer for the safety of his daughters. Her awareness of the contrast between her situation and Mr. In this case, the lessons learned by Lilia are the same learned by the reader but in a more literary, less didactic way. Time is an interesting construct in this story as well.
Lilia remarks that events are unfolding eleven hours ahead of her time zone. She feels as if the events are playing out in the future and her life is somehow a ghost life. This has two separate meanings for Lilia. First, there is a remove between herself and the girls culturally as Lilia is a first-generation American born to immigrant parents.
Second, since this is also a coming of age story, Lilia struggles for some semblance of maturity. As a child, she feels as if her life has already been experienced by others who have gone before her.
Lilia also narrates from the present, adding yet another layer of remove into the story. All that is occurring in the time frame of the story actually has already happened. Assimilation of Indians to America is one of the overarching themes in Interpreter of Maladies.
Lilia and her parents are on either side of a divide. Identity issues are typically compounded generation to generation. Lilia does, in fact, attempt to study the history of Pakistan but she is unable to do so on school time. Pirzada, unthinkable customs. Halloween, a purely American holiday, mystifies Mr. Customs shared by Lilia and her parents are also shared by Mr. When her father tells her that Mr. Pirzada is no longer Indian, she inspects him and his actions for clues of difference.
This echoes her own relationship with her father, who worries that her American education is making her no longer Indian. However, America allows for Mr. Assimilation is seen as both positive and negative. But Lili gives in to a secular type of prayer with the candy that Mr. Pirzada gives to her. Like traditions, rituals can expose belief systems of a person.
Lilia can be read as a secular American, again removed from the culture of her parents.
Interpreter of Maladies Summary and Analysis of When Mr. Pirzada Came To Dine
Analysis Of When Mr. One of the results of Mr. Towards the beginning of the story, Lilia and her family are joined by Mr. Pirzada for dinner while watching the news about Dacca.
Analysis Of When Mr. Pirzada Came To Dine