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!
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews December 15, 2022
December 8, 2022
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
Mr. Kapasi believes that his life is a failure and longs for something more. In his efforts to lift his existence out of the daily, monotonous grind it has become, Mr. Kapasi develops a far-fetched fantasy about the possibility of a deep friendship between himself and Mrs. Das. This fantasy reveals just how lonely Mr. Kapasi’s life and marriage have become. His arranged marriage is struggling because his wife cannot recover from her grief over the loss of their young son or forgive him for working for the doctor who failed to save their son’s life. His career is far less than what he dreamed it might be. He uses his knowledge of English in only the most peripheral way, in high contrast to the dreams of scholarly and diplomatic greatness he once had. In his isolation, he sees Mrs. Das as a potential kindred spirit because she also languishes in a loveless marriage. He imagines similarities between them that do not exist, yearning to find a friend in this American woman. Not surprisingly, the encounter ends in disappointment. When Mrs. Das does confide in him, he feels only disgust. The intimacy he thought he wanted revolts him when he learns more about Mrs. Das’s nature.
In both of Mr. Kapasi’s jobs, as a tour guide and an interpreter for a doctor, he acts as a cultural broker. As a tour guide, he shows mostly English-speaking Europeans and Americans the sights of India, and in his work as an interpreter, he helps the ailing from another region to communicate with their physician. Although neither occupation attains the aspirations of diplomacy he once had, Mrs. Das helps him view both as important vocations. However, Mr. Kapasi is ultimately unable to bridge the cultural gap between himself and Mrs. Das, whether it stems from strictly national differences or more personal ones. Mr. Kapasi’s brief transformation from ordinary tour guide to “romantic” interpreter ends poorly, with his return to the ordinary drudgery of his days.