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A Temporary Matter Reading Quiz

Form 5 Literature in English
Short Stories – “A Temporary Matter” by Jhumpa Lahiri
Reading Quiz
1. Explain this image:
Wife and her husband – the power dynamics. The wife is more active, the husband passive
A power cut – Shoba who suggest and leads the game of truths/ revelations
Shoba is more dominant – Shoba has already made a plan. Her plan is to move out and leave her
The ending – the wife will leave her husband
Unconventional gender roles – husband associated with the home / the wife gives out to work
2. Who are the characters and what do you learn about them?
Shoba –
Shukumar –
Relationship / marriage is distant and stagnant – there is little communication. Eat their meals
separately. Unable to communicate- they struggle to commit to married life – the discord
The still birth of their baby – can they recover from the loss of their baby?
Realism through details
Shoba is the bread-winner
Shukumar post-graduate student
How do they deal with the trauma and loss of their baby?
Unconventional norms and responses
Indian-American identity – first generation Indian-Americans
Breaking gender stereo-types
3. What are the two main plot events in the story? One takes place in the present (within the
narrative) and one took place in the past.
4. What conflict(s) take place in the story?
Internal – Shukumar’s struggle – third person but dominated by Shukumar’s point of view –
Shukumar’s thoughts and feelings
Inter-personal/ inter-relational conflict – the loss of their baby drives a wedge between them and
they are unable to talk about.
External – the pressure to have children in marriage
There is no reconciliation – there is NO fairy-tale ending
The ending is anti-climatic – isolation and alienation
5. State two themes that this story conveys and offer reasons for your choice.
Guilt and blame
Betrayal and trust
Marriage – contrast with “The Taming of Shrew”
6. Make a connection between this text and ONE other text you have studied. Explain.
Short stories - MUST write about TWO
“Happy Endings”
“In the American Society”
“The Great Gatsby”