"Chimmoku" as a silence concept in Jhumpa LahiriТs selected stories
A comprehensive study of the lexical content of the concept of silence in the cultural and individual authorial style of the American writer of Bengali origin, Jhumpa Lagiri. Silence is a component of fictional / conventional communication with "ones".
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Pavlo Tychyna Uman State Pedagogical University Uman, Cherkasy region, Ukraine
УChimmokuФ as a silence concept in Jhumpa Lahiri's selected stories
Yalovenko Olha Viktorivna
Candidate of Philological Sciences, Associate Professor
Associate Professor of English and Methodology Department
silence lexical content lagiri
The article deals with the lexical content of SILENCE concept in the cultural and individual style of Jhumpa Lahiri, an American writer of Bengali origin. It is mentioned that depending on the cultural belonging, such verbal Уnon-designationФ leads to different interpretations of SILENCE, including distortion and misunderstanding of meanings. In Lahiri's works SILENCE concept is expanded due to the cultural component: immigrants are silent not because of anger or disagreement, but because of their cultural УothernessФ, isolation (both physical and imaginary), and because of the language barrier. In this way SILENCE becomes a component of fictional communication with УoursФ, and represents this УfictionalФ reality as literary phenomenon. SILENCE is an important item of the transcultural component of Lahiri's writing, where a woman usually plays the symbolic role of Уinvisible existenceФ and is associated with a maid who knows only how to cook dinner and wash socks. On the example of Lahiri's stories we notice that not only the woman considers herself speechless or УmuteФ. A man in his attitude towards a woman also a priori considers her to have no voice of her own, and therefore he does not need her answer. Therefore, the female characters' SILENCE is painful from their own powerlessness and from their habit of not arguing with a man because ab УanswerФ is hidden in SILENCE. In Lahiri's works SILENCE concept is peculiarly actualized both language images and non-verbal elements, aimed at alienation motif. In this way SILENCE concept is combined with УinvisibilityФ of Bengali woman, in particular with clothes and its colors, because often in female characters' appearance one feels the inner desire to be alone, to disappear, and to be unnoticed. A home space imbued with SILENCE is associated with strangerness, rejection, and otherness. An interrupted time motif (then and now) which is also related to speechlessness appears. Lahiri's characters, being in the liminal space of their American apartments, are in entropy state, in cultural chaos, because they still feel a certain degree of uncertainty, and are Уin betweenФ. For Lahiri's characters SILENCE truly has the capacity to Уchange the worldФ and perhaps yet more than, impassioned speech. Many female characters do not need to use language in order to foster a sense of community with one another. This deliberate absence of language serves a means through which they can experience more. Some stories include transformation of SILENCE power. For many characters SILENCE is not defensive or willfully ignorant, it is УaliveФ and suffused with openness of its spirit. SILENCE does not strip characters of their identity, but creates УtheirФ identity. Though SILENCE is connected with symbolic УsweetnessФ as well as Уsadness,Ф this does not always mean that in SILENCE one remains rooted in suffering. Instead, Уtasting the SILENCEФ is a way of connecting across suffering, as well as finding УownФ place in a new cultural environment.
Key words: non-verbal communication, loneliness motif, otherness, УChimmokuФ concept, the past.
Ђ„≥ммокуї €к концепт мовчанн€ у вибраних творах ƒжумпи Ћаг≥р≥
яловенко ќльга ¬≥ктор≥вна, кандидат ф≥лолог≥чних наук, доцент, доцент кафедри англ≥йськоњ мови та методики њњ навчанн€ ”манського державного педагог≥чного ун≥верситету ≥мен≥ ѕавла “ичини ”мань, „еркаська область, ”крањна
—таттю присв€чено вивченню лексичного наповненн€ концепту ћќ¬„јЌЌя у культуролог≥чному та в ≥ндив≥дуально-авторському стил≥ американськоњ письменниц≥ бенгальського походженн€ ƒжумпи Ћаг≥р≥. «азначено, що залежно в≥д культурноњ приналежност≥, под≥бне вербальне Ђнепозначенн€ї призводить до р≥зного тлумаченн€ факту ћќ¬„јЌЌя, у тому числ≥ до спотворенн€ та непорозум≥нн€ смисл≥в, закладених у ньому. ” творчост≥ ƒ. Ћаг≥р≥ концепт ћќ¬„јЌЌя розширюЇтьс€ за рахунок культурлог≥чноњ складовоњ: ≥мм≥гранти мовчать не через гн≥в чи незгоду з чимось, а через свою культурну Ђ≥накш≥стьї, ≥зольован≥сть (€к ф≥зичну так ≥ у€вну), та через мовний бар'Їр. ” такий спос≥б ћќ¬„јЌЌя стаЇ компонентом вигаданого / умовного сп≥лкуванн€ з≥ Ђсвоњмиї, ≥ представл€Ї Ђф≥кц≥ональнуї д≥йсн≥сть €к художнЇ €вище. ћќ¬„јЌЌя Ї важливим компонентом транскультурноњ складовоњ творчост≥ письменниц≥. ” творах ƒ. Ћаг≥р≥ ж≥нка виконуЇ символ≥чну роль Ђневидимого ≥снуванн€ї ≥ асоц≥юЇтьс€ з≥ служницею, €ка вм≥Ї лише готувати об≥д та прати шкарпетки. Ќа приклад≥ окремих твор≥в письменниц≥ пом≥чаЇмо, що не лише сама ж≥нка вважаЇ себе безмовною, чи умовно н≥мою. „олов≥к у своЇму ставленн≥ до ж≥нки також апр≥ор≥ вважаЇ њњ такою, що не маЇ власного голосу, а отже в≥н ≥ не потребуЇ њњ в≥дпов≥д≥. ¬≥дтак, ћќ¬„јЌЌя ж≥ночих персонаж≥в бол≥сне в≥д власного безсилл€ та в≥д звички не сперечатис€ з чолов≥ком; у мовчанн≥ прихована символ≥чна Ђв≥дпов≥дьї. ” творчост≥ ƒ. Ћаг≥р≥ концепт ћќ¬„јЌЌя своЇр≥дно актуал≥зуЇтьс€ не лише мовними образами, але ≥ невербальними елементами, спр€мованими на мотив в≥дчуженн€. ” такий спос≥б концепт ћќ¬„јЌЌя поЇднуЇтьс€ з Ђневидим≥стюї бенгальськоњ ж≥нки, зокрема з од€гом та його кольоровим забарвленн€м, адже часто в самому вигл€д≥ ж≥ночих персонаж≥в в≥дчуваЇтьс€ внутр≥шнЇ бажанн€ побути самому, зникнути, залишитис€ непом≥ченою. ѕройн€тий мовчанн€м домашн≥й прост≥р асоц≥юЇтьс€ з чуж≥стю, неприйн€тт€м, ≥накш≥стю. ¬иникаЇ мотив перерваност≥ часу (тод≥ ≥ зараз), €кий також пов'€заний з безмовн≥стю. ѕерсонаж≥ Ћаг≥р≥, перебуваючи у лам≥нальному простор≥ своњх американських квартир, перебувають у стан≥ ентроп≥њ, у культурному хаос≥, адже дос≥ в≥дчувають певний ступ≥нь невизначеност≥, перебувають Ђм≥жї. ƒл€ героњв Ћаг≥р≥ ћќ¬„јЌЌя справд≥ здатне Ђзм≥нити св≥тї, ≥ можливо б≥льше, н≥ж мова. Ѕагатьом ж≥ночим персонажам не потр≥бно використовувати мову, щоб порозум≥тис€ один з одним, ≥ ц€ навмисна в≥дсутн≥сть мови служить дл€ них засобом, за допомогою €кого вони набувають б≥льшого досв≥ду. ” де€ких творах в≥дбуваЇтьс€ трансформац≥€ ћќ¬„јЌЌя. ƒл€ багатьох героњв ћќ¬„јЌЌя не Ї захистом чи навмисним ≥гноруванн€м, воно Ђживеї ≥ прос€кнуте в≥дкрит≥стю свого духу. ћќ¬„јЌЌя не позбавл€Ї героњв њхньоњ ≥дентичност≥, а створюЇ Ђњхнюї ≥дентичн≥сть. ’оча ћќ¬„јЌЌя пов'€зане з символ≥чною Ђмелод≥йн≥стюї, а також Ђсумомї, це не завжди означаЇ, що в мовчанн≥ людина страждаЇ. Ќатом≥сть Ђдегустац≥€ ћќ¬„јЌЌяї - це спос≥б об'Їднатис€ через стражданн€, а також знайти ЂсвоЇї м≥сце в новому культурному середовищ≥.
лючов≥ слова: невербальна комун≥кац≥€, мотив самотност≥, ≥накш≥сть, концепт Ђч≥ммокуї, минуле.
Nowadays we live under globalization umbrella that eliminated the boundaries between cultures and made the aspects of each culture relatively known to others. Cultures are different but alike as well. There are major similarities in Уbody languageФ (laughing, nodding, whispering, eye contact etc. as opposed to differences in shouting, crying, handshaking and greetings (which is due to cultural belonging). Language is not just a means of communication but has a number of functions to perform in society. People's interaction from different backgrounds has led societies to be multicultural ones.
Communication can be oral or written, and non-verbal (we mean УkinesicsФ, the so-called Уbody languageФ). Compared to oral or written communication, paralanguage is considered to be a difficult one. Non-verbal elements are bound up with culture.
The purpose of the article is to analyze the specificity of SILENCE concept in Jhumpa Lahiri's writing as a personification of Asian identity in the context of transcultural paradigm.
Analysis of recent research and publications
Despite the presence of scientific works of foreign critics (T. Bhalla (2012), K. Chatterjee (2016), S. Dasgupta (2011), N. Friedman (2008), R. Heinze (2007), F. Kral (2007), S. Lutzoni (2017), B.W. Noelle (2004), A. Rizzo (2012), A. Shankar Saha (2012) and others), Jhumpa Lahiri's writing is not fully investigated, which determines further theoretical studies in a transculture context.
Critics' main attention is reduced to the identity analysis, gastronomic issues, gender characteristics and immigrants' experiences in a new cultural environment. However, only a few foreign researchers addressed SILENCE issue in Lahiri's writing (but briefly): I. Ishrat УTranslating the aching absence and screaming SILENCE: a study of diasporic experiences of the characters in the selected stories of Jhumpa LahiriФ (Ishrat, 2020), L. Neary УPolitical violence, uneasy SILENCE echo in Lahiri's УLowlandФ (Neary, 2013), I. Phabha Pathak УSILENCE and the Need for Communication in the Short Stories of Jhumpa LahiriФ (Phabha, 2013). It all determines the article's relevance as SILENCE concept is also important, especially in the context of the basic transculture positions.
In the article we used the following methods: cultural and historical (defining the role and place of Lahiri's writing in US literature of the twentieth century), historical and typological (determining the specifics of themes, motifs, images, story features of the writer's works), functional (clarifying the features of Lahiri's poetics), hermeneutic (interpretation of various aspects of the literary text), narratological analysis (specifics' analysis of Lahiri's narrative manner), biographical (revealing the reflection of author's personal experience in her writing), the principles of postcolonial and decolonial criticism (rethinking the problem of УothernessФ in transculture discourse).
The presentation of the main material
SILENCE manifests itself in various spheres of human existence. It can be monologic, i.e. exist outside of dialogue, and dialogical as an important component in the communication process. What appears in SILENCE dialogue is inevitably has to be interpreted, so there should be no meaning gaps. Depending on the cultural affiliation, such verbal Уnon-designationФ leads to different interpretations of SILENCE, including distortion and misunderstanding of meanings. SILENCE can express a large number of meanings, be a symbol of harmony or, on the contrary, disagreement; and the cultural component plays an important role here.
A peculiar reflection of SILENCE phenomenon is found in fiction, where SILENCE is presented in a dialogic fragment, and often in a monologue one. The study of SILENCE phenomenon makes it possible to consider the structuring mechanism of communication act between the characters in the literary work, to determine the regularities of characters' SLENCE, and to reveal SILENCE reasons.
In Jhumpa Lahiri's poetics (an American writer of Bengali origin) SILENCE concept is expanded due to the cultural component: immigrants are silent not because of anger or disagreement, but because of their cultural УothernessФ, isolation (both physical and imaginary), and because of the language barrier. In this way SILENCE becomes a component of fictional communication with УoursФ, and represents this УfictionalФ reality as literary phenomenon.
SILENCE is an important item of the transcultural component of Lahiri's writing, where a woman usually plays the symbolic role of Уinvisible existenceФ and is associated with a maid who knows only how to cook dinner and wash socks. A similar motif in seen in УHema and KaushikФ (from УUnaccustomed EarthФ, 2008): УChitra hovered over my father and me and the girls, eating privately after we were done, the way our maids would in BombayФ (Lahiri, 2008, p. 183). By this SILENCE Chitra follows УherФ cultural code, because like the food concept, SILENCE determines Asian woman's identity. Such submissiveness is a central female trait in China. The ability to cook, being focused on washing, do not like entertainments, deal with drinks and food, as well as serve to guests has to be a woman's work.
The УdomesticФ SILENCE paradigm for an Indian woman is presented in УHell-HeavenФ (from УUnaccustomed EarthФ, 2008), where the main character Aparna hardly communicates with her husband: УMy father was a lover of SILENCE and solitude. He had married my mother to placate his parents; they were willing to accept his desertion as long as he had a wifeФ (Lahiri, 2008, p. 49). In real her husband was УmarriedФ to his work and to his research. He existed in his own world, understood by him only (neither his wife nor his daughter had УaccessФ there). Even any nonwork-related conversation was a real challenge for Shymail, and he didn't want to waste his precious time talking nonsense.
SILENCE does not satisfy Aparna from УHell-HeavenФ, because her existence is very limited: it is both by her gender as well as by the tense relationship with her husband. Like many other Bengali women, she has had an arranged marriage but in real the couple shares very few common interests. Most of the day she spends in the house cooking and cleaning.
While reading the text we notice that Aparna Уnever worked, and her life purpose was to serve her daughter and husband, who did not praise her for her delicious food and never used kind words addressing herФ (Yalovenko, 2022, p. 162). This is proved in the episode during the meal, when only the sound of a knife and fork breaks the apartment's usual SILENCE: УAs usual, my father said nothing in response to my mother's commentary, quietly and methodically working though his meal, his fork and knife occasionally squeaking against the surface of the china, because he was accustomed to eating with his handsФ (Lahiri, 2008, p. 273). The woman feels inner loneliness, and this is clearly seen in her behavior, because the amenities of still foreign American apartment will never replace УherФ space: УI would return from school and find my mother with her purse in her lap and her trench coat on, desperate to escape the apartment where she had spent the day aloneФ (Lahiri, 2008, p. 48).
From the very beginning we see Aparna in her emotional apathy, she is УlockedФ in her house and the only time she leaves the house is when Usha comes back from school. In this case we completely agree with S. Raj, who notes the following about women: Уphysically they are in America, but mentally in South Asia. They deal with loneliness and dislocation, cultural displacement, a sense of identity and belonging to Indian and American cultures, taking into account the small detailsФ (Raj, 2016, p. 460).
A slightly different paradigm of SILENCE concept (which is also characterized with a cultural component) can be seen in K. Mori's works. The writer has repeatedly emphasized the women's depressed position in Japanese society, where she (a woman) is beautiful through silent suffering and self-effacement. In this way, SILENCE as an established УChimmokuФ concept is both an element of non-verbal communication and an important cultural code However, the gradual women participation in the use of language (we can compare it with УchimmokuФ SILENCE concept) leads to the creation of codes' subsystem that is used specifically by women and is also oriented to their interest. Of course, this system is derived from the male one, but it is specific for the female audience in a number of individual features..
In УThe NamesakeФ (2003) the limited space is identical to transitivity, border being, when you are no longer there, but not yet here: УThough they are home they are disconcerted by the space, by the uncompromising SILENCE that surrounds them. They still feel somehow in transit, still disconnected from their lives, bound up in an alternate schedule, an intimacy only the four of them shareФ (Lahiri, 2003, p. 61). It is Ashima who feels the most УherФ transit state, which is also realized through SILENCE, sadness and depression: УOn more than one occasion he has come home from the university to find her morose, in bed, rereading her parents' letters. Early mornings, when he senses that she is quietly crying, he puts an arm around her but can think of nothing to say, feeling that it is his fault, for marrying her, for bringing her hereФ (Lahiri, 2003, p. 26).
A similar motif associated with forced SILENCE is seen in УMrs. Sen'sФ (from УInterpreter of MaladiesФ, 1999), where the main character Mrs. Sen is in limited space of her comfortable but in real УforeignФ apartment. Mrs. Sen exists beyond time and just getting used to American life. Here she finds no laughing and gossiping of her near and dear ones while cooking or performing daily household chores. She wants to give a long loud scream, but there is no one to listen to what she wants to utter. Looking at a pine tree framed by the living room window of their apartment, Mrs. Sen murmurs. Again SILENCE concept is important here; this quiet place has silenced her inner cry and the absence of her own home in India throws her into a pool of extreme unhappiness.
We notice how skillfully Mrs. Sen's psychological portrait is painted. The extreme feelings of melancholy and wish to meet with her own people have deeply been exposed when Mrs. Sen mentions about her relatives living in India. She feels she is invariably distant from the life that goes on in India; she even cannot imagine herself as a stranger to her niece. The heroine shares her dejected position to Eliot, mentioning her sister who has a baby girl. Whenever time will come to meet her Уshe will be three years old. Her own aunt will be a strangerФ (Lahiri, 1999, p. 122). Thus she opens up her mind to narrate her life similar to a doleful one, a life without hope. It is painful for Mrs. Sen to become a stranger to her own niece.
Both the cooking tools and a cassette recording with the voice of her relatives help Mrs. Sen to surrender to her happy past. The death news of her grandfather has made her absent minded. That is why the blade never appears from the cupboard, even getting a whole fish from the fish market does not interest Mrs. Sen (and these details are so important for her). She keeps her confined in the apartment and refuses to learn driving.
Moreover, it is Beethoven who fails to cheer her up. While listening to a tape which voices of her relatives, Mrs. Sen starts translating for Eliot what they say. In this case SILENCE concept is opposed to communication act: it is Mrs. Sen who became lingual mediator between so far India and close America. As the succession of voices begins to laugh, she identifies each speaker saying: УMy third uncle, my cousin, my father, my grandfatherФ (Lahiri, 1999, p. 128). Actually Mrs. Sen never desires to detach herself from India, she still wails to roam in her imaginary homeland. By listening to those voices and hear the same story, Mrs. Sen posits her existence in the perpetual past.
We notice that Mrs. Sen contrasts America's loneliness with the community she had in Calcutta: УHere, in this place where Mrs. Sen has brought me, I cannot sometimes sleep in so much SILENCEФ (Lahiri, 1999, p. 128). She describes Indian women preparing food together and talking late to the night.
At the same time, the heroine is disturbed by the sounds outside her apartment. We mean the image of a tree, which УinterferesФ in Mrs. Sen's SILENCE. Along with the fact that in America she can't sleep Уin so much SILENCEФ she finds it difficult to asleep as well; and in this context SILENCE is compared to outside noises. УIt is impossible to fall asleep those nights, listening to their chatter. She paused to look at a pine tree framed by the living room windowФ (Lahiri, 1999, p. 128).
The heroine naively models a situation that is artificial for America, but familiar to her: what would happen if she went beyond the usual boundaries of American life and started making loud noise: УEliot, if I began to scream right now at the top of my lungs, would someone come?Ф (Lahiri, 1999, p. 63). But the answer Mrs. Sen heard was as blurred as would be the possible behavior of Americans towards a stranger (by the way, involving one of the elements of non-verbal communication Уto shrugФ): УEliot shrugged.
MaybeФ (Lahiri, 1999, p. 63).
We notice that this unbearable SILENCE is completely strange for Mrs. Sen. She casually compares the usual bustle of Calcutta family and this absolute SILENCE in America: УAt home that is all you have to do. Not everybody has a telephone. But just raise your voice a bit, or express grief or joy of any kind, and one whole neighborhood and half of another has come to share the news, to help with arrangementsФ (Lahiri, 1999, p. 63). Little Eliot gives his explanation, because excessive noise is not welcome in America: УThey might call youФ, Eliot said eventually to Mrs. Sen. УBut they might complain that you were making too much noiseФ (Lahiri, 1999, p. 63). Such American SILENCE only increases Mrs. Sen's feeling of loneliness.
The repeated image of the window and that pine tree (as well as the image of her apartment) becomes a connecting element between the interior of the house and the natural world outside (where the usual life rhythm is raging), and also the apartment's threshold - a УborderФ that no one (except her husband and little Eliot) is allowed to cross.
Sometimes Mrs. Sen sits hours in SILENCE, which does not bother her at all. In this context SILENCE is the most beautiful symphony; air breathed in SILENCE is sweeter and sadder, it affords even the smallest gestures significance and grace. Often she realizes that SILENCE in her room is great, as well as usual roar and the dust outside. Her little room, her little circle, is a УdepotФ, a pause, for the weary traveler, but outside of her little world there is cultural dissonance, uncertainty, border and the travel she must do.
УMrs. Sen'sФ depicts a relationship between two lonely and isolated people. Throughout the story, Lahiri emphasizes the characters' near-total isolation, which is directly close to SILENCE concept. We see that aside from each other, Eliot and Mrs. Sen are connected to almost nobody. Eliot has his mother, but she works long hours, and Mrs. Sen has Mr. Sen, who is likewise rarely at home. Both Mr. Sen and Eliot's mother seem emotionally distant from their dearest people.
The author repeatedly emphasizes how isolating the environment they live in is: the bus has few passengers, many stores are closed for winter, the tourist season is over, and the seaside town is mostly empty. Beyond their personal lives, Eliot and Mrs. Sen lack community where they live. This isolation is clearly seen when Mrs. Sen picks Eliot up from the bus stop. The boy always feels that УMrs. Sen has been waiting for some time, as if eager to greet a person she hadn t seen in yearsФ (Lahiri, 1999, p. 64).
Like most of Lahiri's female characters, Mrs. Sen is УlockedФ in her apartment for days. As a result, for Mrs. Sen's sensitive image, both the window and the apartment are a full-fledged barrier that ensures a conscious non-communication process. There is a УzeroФ speech act, which is occasionally interrupted by the presence of little Eliot (she looks after him when he returns from school). Eliot notices that Mrs. Sen is lonely and misses her home, but he doesn't talk about it with her, thereby increasing the SILENCE.
The boy's presence does not at all prevent Mrs. Sen from keeping SILENCE: УIn SILENCE she prepared crackers with peanut butter for Eliot, then sat reading old aerograms from a shoeboxФ (Lahiri, 1999, p. 68); УIn SILENCE Eliot and Mrs. Sen ate the last few clam cakes in the bagФ (Lahiri, 1999, p. 71); УThey drove in SILENCE, along the same roads that Eliot and his mother took back to the beach house each eveningФ (Lahiri, 1999, p. 68).
This УzeroФ speech act is conveyed by language means (SILENCE, pauses, internal thoughts and conversations) - Уreading old aerogramsФ (Lahiri, 1999, p. 68) and fiction ones (it is seen with unfinished sentences in the text): УEliot's mother nodded, too, looking around the room. УAnd that's all ... in India?Ф (Lahiri, 1999, p. 62). It cannot be said that there are no sounds or background noises in Mrs. Sen's room. The only sound of the door in the living space and the blade sound, which Mrs. Sen uses when cuts vegetables, is often inanimate and uncommunicative.
The heroine УimmersesФ in mechanically repeated actions, and it is this daily routine that causes a state of indifference to the world around. Mrs. Sen is in a liminal space impenetrable to others, in the so-called УmutenessФ, which makes it impossible to connect with the nature.
Little Eliot's voice does not become a final victory over SILENCE, the lyrical heroine faces its return when she is alone again. A comfortably furnished room immediately evokes an association with a symbolic УprisonФ, with forced standing facing the wall (we mean conditional conversation with herself). In fact, the world outside the window is alive (there are many people on the streets, and everyone is busy with his own affairs), but in contrast to the SILENCE imprisoned in everyday life, a much more tragic picture emerges, which is the final stage of the destructive processes began in Mrs. Sen's personal space.
Instead of a УstepФ to the window, the heroine stands in recollection, remaining in her silent room. The only place where SILENCE does not penetrate is the sleep space, where there are vague visions of the unreal. That is why Mrs. Sen reads and often re-reads letters from home, in order to bring closer some elements of УherФ: УAt home, you know, we have a driver ... Everything is thereФ (Lahiri, 1999, p. 62). Such a passive recollection, which does not become a word and is not realized in the present, is powerless and does not change anything (although the events are no longer relevant, they are still УaliveФ for the heroine).
For Jhumpa Lahiri SILENCE far from being empty, avoidant or submissive is an alternative means of expression, communication or storytelling, and also it is a way of symbolic УsurvivalФ in an oppressive world. SILENCE is a conscious choice, and a form of resistance through which it is easy to transcend usual. For Lahiri's characters, SILENCE truly has the capacity to Уchange the worldФ and perhaps yet more than, impassioned speech. Many female characters like Mrs. Sen do not need to use language in order to perform a sense of community with one another, and this deliberate absence of language serves a means through which they can experience more.
Another SILENCE paradigm is seen in УThe NamesakeФ, when the main character grieves over the death of his father: УHe spends a few minutes reading through the manual, comparing the features of the dashboard to the illustration in the book. He turns the wipers on and off and tests the headlights even though it's still daylight. He shuts off the radio, drives in SILENCE through the cold, bleak afternoon, through the flat, charmless town he will never visit againФ (Lahiri, 2003, p. 118). In this way, the inner language is important, which has a huge interpretive potential and acts as a mean of conveying such states of the character: УHe watches the sky whiten, listens as the perfect SILENCE is replaced by the faintest hum of distant traffic, until suddenly he succumbs, for a few hours, to the deepest sleep possible, his mind blank and undisturbed, his limbs motionless, weighted downФ (Lahiri, 2003, p. 121).
Gogol's SILEnCe is not forced, but is accompanied by such non-verbal components as a pause and inner speech: Уdrives in SILENCEФ; Уlistens as the perfect SILENCE is replaced by the faintest hum of distant trafficФ, etc. It should be mentioned, that there are many such neutral lexemes in Lahiri's stories, but often they allow the reader to think about the reasons for the character's SILENCE.
As we can sure, SILENCE concept has a special place in Lahiri's dynamic poetics. It was influenced by the writer's state of mind, because the understanding of this concept is conditioned by despair, cultural difference and parting with УoursФ. The characters' language is important of course, but what was not said for certain reasons, something which turned out to be hidden behind SILENCE, is no less important.
On the example of Lahiri's selected stories we notice that not only the woman considers herself speechless or УmuteФ. A man in his attitude towards a woman also a priori considers her to have no voice of her own, and therefore he does not need her answer. Therefore, the female characters' SILENCE is painful from their own powerlessness and from their habit of not arguing with a man; a symbolic УanswerФ is hidden in SILENCE. In this context, the symbolic woman's speechlessness was compared to Уthe voice without bodyФ concept, which T Belyanina appeals to.
In Lahiri's works SILENCE concept is peculiarly actualized both language images and non-verbal elements, aimed at alienation motif. In this way SILENCE concept is combined with УinvisibilityФ of Bengali woman, in particular with clothes and its colors, because often in female characters' appearance one feels the inner desire to be alone, to disappear, and to be unnoticed.
Culturally significant SILENCE concept is one of the key elements in Lahiri's poetics. SILENCE combines two distinct components: women invisibility / visibility (when a woman is being objectified). Another important subtext is also presented in her works, when perceived noncommunication moves into a qualitatively different paradigm, a transcultural one.
Have analyzed some Jhumpa Lahiri's stories, we clearly see that all of them include transformation of SILENCE power. For many female characters SILENCE is not defensive or willfully ignorant, it is УaliveФ and suffused with openness of its spirit.
SILENCE does not strip characters of their identity, but creates УtheirФ identity. Though SILENCE is connected with symbolic УsweetnessФ as well as Уsadness,Ф this does not always mean that in SILENCE one remains rooted in suffering. Instead, Уtasting the SILENCEФ is a way of connecting across suffering, as well as finding УownФ place in a new cultural environment.
1. Bhalla T. Being (and Feeling) Gogol: Reading and Recognition in Jhumpa Lahiri's УThe NamesakeФ. MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the U.S. 2012. є 37 (1). –. 105-129.
2. Chatterjee K. Negotiating Homelessness through Culinary Imagination: the Metaphor of Food in Jhumpa Lahiri's УInterpreter of MaladiesФ. Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities. 2016. є 8 (3). – 197-205.
3. Dasgupta S. Jhumpa Lahri's УNamesakeФ: Reviewing the Russian Connection. Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities. 2011. є 3 (4). –. 530-544.
4. Friedman N. From Hybrids to Tourists: Children of Immigrants in Jhumpa Lahiri's УThe NamesakeФ. Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, 2008. є 50 (1). –. 111-128.
5. Heinze R. A Diasporic overcoat? Naming and Affection in Jhumpa Lahiri's УThe NamesakeФ. Journal of Postcolonial Writing. 2007. є 43 (2). –. 191-202.
6. Ishrat I. Translating the aching absence and screaming SILENCE: a study of diasporic experiences of the characters in the selected stories of Jhumpa Lahiri. Ideas. Vol. 5. 2019-2020. P. 62-72.
7. Kral F. Shaky Ground and New Territorialities in Brick Lane by Monica Ali and The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. Journal of Postcolonial Writing. 2007. є 43 (1). –. 65-76.
8. Lahiri J. Interpreter of Maladies. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999. 198 p.
9. Lahiri J. The Namesake. A Mariner Book, Houghton Miflin Company. Boston, New York. 2003. 195 p.
10. Lahiri J. Unaccustomed Earth. New York, Toronto: Manotosh Biswas, 2008. 331 p.
11. Lutzoni S. Jhumpa Lahiri and the Grammar of a Multi-Layered Identity. Journal of Intercultural Studies. 2017. є 38 (1). –. 108-118.
12. Neary L. Political violence, uneasy SILENCE echo in Lahiri's УLowlandФ. URL: https://www.npr.org/2013/09/23/224404507/political-violence-uneasy-silence-echo-in-lahiris-lowland (last accessed: November, 21, 2022).
13. Noelle B.W. Reading Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies as a Short Story Cycle.MELUS. 2004. є 29 (3-4). –. 451-464.
14. Phabha Pathak. SILENCE and the Need for Communication in the Short Stories of Jhumpa Lahiri. The Criterion: An International Journal in English. August, 2013. vol. 4. issue IV. URL: https://www.the-criterion.com/V4/n4/Indu.pdf (last accessed: November, 21, 2022).
15. Raj S.A. Cultural Alienation in Jhumpa Lahiri's Short Stories УInterpreter of MaladiesФ. International Journal of English Language, Literature and Humanities. Jan. 2016. Vol. 4. Issue 1. P. 459-470.
16. Rizzo A. Translation and Billinguism in Monica Ali's and Jhumpa Lahiri's Marginalized Identities. Text Matter. 2012. є 2 (2). –. 264-275.
17. Shankar Saha. A. The Indian Diaspora and Reading Desai, Mukherjee, Gupta and Lahiri. CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture. 2012. є 14 (2). –. 9.
18. Yalovenko Olha. New Interpretation of Gender Relations in Jhumpa Lahiri's УHell-HeavenФ. јктуальн≥ питанн€ гуман≥тарних наук. ћ≥жвуз≥вський зб≥рник наукових праць молодих вчених ƒрогобицького державного педагог≥чного ун≥верситету ≥мен≥ ≤вана ‘ранка. 2022. є 47 (4). —. 159-165.
1. Bhalla, T. (2012). Being (and Feeling) Gogol: Reading and Recognition in Jhumpa Lahiri's УThe NamesakeФ. MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the U.S. є 37 (1). –. 105-129.
2. Chatterjee, K. (2016). Negotiating Homelessness through Culinary Imagination: the Metaphor of Food in Jhumpa Lahiri's УInterpreter of MaladiesФ. Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities. є 8 (3). – 197-205.
3. Dasgupta, S. (2011). Jhumpa Lahri's УNamesakeФ: Reviewing the Russian Connection. Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities. є 3 (4). –. 530-544.
4. Friedman, N. (2008). From Hybrids to Tourists: Children of Immigrants in Jhumpa Lahiri's УThe NamesakeФ. Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, 2008. є 50 (1). – 111-128.
5. Heinze, R. (2007). A Diasporic overcoat? Naming and Affection in Jhumpa Lahiri's УThe NamesakeФ. Journal of Postcolonial Writing. є 43 (2). –. 191-202.
6. Ishrat, I. (2019-2022). Translating the aching absence and screaming SILENCE: a study of diasporic experiences of the characters in the selected stories of Jhumpa Lahiri. Ideas. Vol. 5. P. 62-72.
7. Kral, F. (2007). Shaky Ground and New Territorialities in Brick Lane by Monica Ali and The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. Journal of Postcolonial Writing. є 43 (1). –. 65-76.
8. Lahiri, J. (1999). Interpreter of Maladies. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 198 p.
9. Lahiri, J. (2003). The Namesake. A Mariner Book, Houghton Miflin Company. Boston, New York. 195 p.
10. Lahiri, J. (2008). Unaccustomed≈arth. New York, Toronto: Manotosh Biswas.
11. Lutzoni, S. (2017). Jhumpa Lahiri and the Grammar of a Multi-Layered Identity. Journal of Intercultural Studies. є 38 (1). –. 108-118.
12. Neary, L. Political violence, uneasy SILENCE echo in Lahiri's УLowlandФ. URL: https://www.npr.org/2013/09/23/224404507/political-violence-uneasy-silence-echo-in-lahiris-lowland (last accessed: November, 21, 2022).
13. Noelle, B.W. (2004). Reading Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies as a Short Story Cycle.MELUS. є 29 (3-4). –. 451-464.
14. Phabha. P. (2013). SILENCE and the Need for Communication in the Short Stories of Jhumpa Lahiri. The Criterion: An International Journal in English. August, vol. 4. issue IV. URL: https://www.the-criterion.com/V4/n4/Indu.pdf (last accessed: November, 21, 2022).
15. Raj, S.A. (2016). Cultural Alienation in Jhumpa Lahiri's Short Stories УInterpreter of MaladiesФ. International Journal of English Language, Literature and Humanities. Jan. Vol. 4. Issue 1. P. 459-470.
16. Rizzo, A. (2012). Translation and Billinguism in Monica Ali's and Jhumpa Lahiri's Marginalized Identities. Text Matter. є 2 (2). –. 264-275.
17. Shankar, S. (2012). A. The Indian Diaspora and Reading Desai, Mukherjee, Gupta and Lahiri. CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture. є 14 (2). –. 9.
18. Yalovenko, O. (2022). New Interpretation of Gender Relations in Jhumpa Lahiri's УHell-HeavenФ. [Current issues of humanitarian sciences]. є 47 (4). –. 159-165.
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