Language

Style of writing

The language used by Jhumpa Lahiri in the short story “The Third and Final Continent” is neutral. Throughout the story, the narrator’s tone is objective and detached, which results in a straightforward narrative. 

A formal style is introduced during the dialogue between the narrator and Mrs. Croft. When they talk, the narrator always addresses her with the formal “Madam” to show his respect: 

‘I broke my hip!’ Mrs. Croft announced, as if no time had passed. 

‘Oh dear, Madam.’ 

‘I fell off the bench!’ 

‘I am so sorry, Madam.’ ” (p. 16, ll. 18-21).

Throughout the story, the repetition of the word “splendid” becomes an element that defines the relationship between the narrator and Mrs. Croft. Whenever she expresses her amazement with the presence of the American flag on the moon, the narrator is aut...

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