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Interpreter of Maladies


Important Quotations Explained

Quotes Important Quotations Explained
2. She would write to him, asking about his days interpreting at the doctor’s office, and he would respond eloquently, choosing only the most entertaining anecdotes, ones that would make her laugh out loud as she read them in her house in New Jersey.

After Mrs. Das calls Mr. Kapasi’s job “romantic,” Mr. Kapasi begins to daydream about how they will become great friends. The international nature of their friendship appeals to him because it makes him feel like a diplomat or cultural broker. The daydream, however, will never come to pass. Mr. Kapasi fails to see the true Mrs. Das, and vice versa, and there is no way to bridge the gap between them and reach any sort of genuine connection. These fantasies illustrate how lonely Mr. Kapasi’s life has become and how much he wants and needs a friend. They underscore his frustration with his daily existence, especially his feelings of failure about how he uses the languages that he spent his youth working hard to acquire. Mrs. Das makes Mr. Kapasi feel important, which makes him happy. This exaltation intensifies the disappointment Mr. Kapasi feels when Mrs. Das confesses her secret. Mr. Kapasi had misinterpreted Mrs. Das’s comment, mistakenly believing it gestured to a deeper understanding between them. The truth is that there is no hope for a correspondence, much less a friendship. When his address flutters out of her handbag, ending all possibility of their ever communicating, Mr. Kapasi has already realized the impossibility of his fantasies.