Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews December 7, 2023
November 30, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
See discount terms and conditions.
“And then the young woman tells her that the patient, Ashoke Ganguli, her husband, has expired. Expired. A word used for library cards, for magazine subscriptions.”
In Chapter 7, after Ashoke’s death in Ohio, Ashima thinks these thoughts, while alone in the house on Pemberton Road. For Ashima, Ashoke is everything: husband, father to her two children. He is the person who organized things around the home, performed the chores, earned the majority of the family’s income. Ashoke is the reason that Ashima has come to the United States in the first place, for she followed her husband out of a sense of a wife’s duty, even though she was terrified of leaving Calcutta. The notion that Ashoke could be simply “gone” is too terrible to contemplate.
This is not to say that Ashima’s entire life depends on Ashoke. She loves her husband, and has grown in his absence, learning to do some of the things that, for years, he took care of on his own. But it would be no exaggeration to say that Ashoke is the person closest to Ashima on earth. The two of them have shared years together. They have been inseparable since moving to Cambridge together, immediately after their wedding in India.
The idea, then, that Ashoke could be simply “expired” is too clinical, too horrible for Ashima to bear. The hospital administrator’s tone, while intended to be professional, seems to Ashima utterly devoid of humanity. This is in keeping with Ashima’s feelings about death and dying in the US more broadly. Ashima feels that, in America, death is an informal affair, something that is not respected and revered as it is in Calcutta. When, for example, Gogol goes on a school trip to a graveyard, and makes an etching of a gravestone, Ashima cannot believe that such “art-making” would occur among the dead. Here, then, is another example of what Ashima considers the foreignness, the strangeness of American attitudes toward dying.