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Author Jhumpa Lahiri
Type of work Novel
Time and place written Rome, early 2000s
Date of first publication 2003
Publisher Houghton Mifflin
Point of view Third-person, subjective
Tone Dispassionate (straightforward reporting of emotions and actions)
Setting (time) 1968-2000
Setting (place) In and around New England and the Northeast: notably the Boston area, New Haven, and New York City
Protagonist Gogol, with Ashima and Ashoke as secondary protagonists
Major conflict Gogol’smarriage to Moushumi begins to flounder
Rising action Moushumi begins an affair with Dimitri, her old friend
Climax Moushumi reveals to Gogol, on the train, that she is having an affair
Falling action Gogol attends a final Christmas party at Pemberton Road
Themes Change, and its Dependence on Stability; The Universality of “Foreignness”; the Formation of Identity
Motifs Naming, Riding the Train, Reading
The Stories of Nikolai Gogol, the house on Pemberton Road, the spit of land on Cape Cod
Foreshadowing Moushumi encounters Dimitri’s name among a stack of letters at NYU; Gogol realizes that, on her trip to Palm Beach, Moushumi has not taken her bathing suit