“Brotherly Love”

This week’s published piece is “Brotherly Love”, by Jhumpa Lahiri. Lahiri is an Indian American author who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000 for her short story collection “Interpreter of Maladies”. She is a regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine.

“Brotherly Love” is about two brothers who grow up in India in the fifties and sixties. One becomes a revolutionary; the other goes to America to earn a doctorate degree. Despite their differences, however, they are still brothers.

  •  In what ways does Lahiri make it clear that we are in Subhash’s story, not Udayan’s, from very early on?
  • The police play a constant antagonistic force.  What are the techniques Lahiri uses to turn an entire profession or political body (such as communists) more personal and crystalized?
  • Lahiri uses compare and contrast to showcase complexity.  What are some of the instances in the story where this happens?
  • What literary strategies are used to move the reader across the globe and through decades very deftly?
  • What are the brothers underlying conflicts and bonds?
  • What changes in the boys from childhood and adulthood?
  • What were some of the most poignant and ironic moments?
  • How is color used?

Enjoy! As always, all comments are welcome. And thanks to Gaby for suggesting this piece and coming up with the questions.

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