Narrator and point of view

The short story “The Third and Final Continent” by Jhumpa Lahiri is told by a first-person narrator who is also the main character. The narrator presents the events in a series of flashbacks, from the moment he left India to the present, when he is an American citizen. 

The narrator’s account is mainly objective and straightforward. He presents his experiences matter-of-factly, with little emotion. For example, when he describes the room he rents from Mrs. Croft, he simply states “I was satisfied” (p. 6, l. 1). When he initially talks about Mala, the narrator’s tone is detached, and he does not hide the fact that he does not have any feelings for her (p. 12, ll. 32-35). Towards the end, when the narrator talks about falling in love with her, he does it through an equally-detached tone: “At night we kissed, shy at first but quickly bold, and discovered pleasure and solace in each other's arms” (p. 18, ll. 10-12).


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