Digital Short Story Group - East Brunswick Public Library discussion

12 views
The Third and Final Continent Discussion

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Librarian_Paul (new)

Librarian_Paul | 9 comments Mod
Has anyone read Jhumpa Lahiri before? She actually won the Pulitzer Prize for this book. If anyone has a favorite story from the collection I’d love to hear about it.
She is also currently an NJ resident and teaches at Princeton.

What did you make of the narrator’s initial view of the U.S.? Do you understand why he would hold such opinions?

Did you find it interesting to learn about the narrator’s life in India before coming to the States? Do you think people often overlook how difficult it is for new immigrants who are acclimating to an entirely new country and culture?

Why do you think the narrator was so affected by the death of Mrs. Croft?

I love the way Lahiri shows how a sense of community, even at such a small and distinct level, can have a truly profound effect on how we react to and understand our environment.

The narrator of "The Third and Final Continent" ends his account with the statement, "Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept." Why do you think he’s bewildered?

Rather than leave his weekly rent on the piano, the narrator of "The Third and Final Continent" hands it to Mrs. Croft. This seems like such a small gesture, but at the same time so significant. It probably meant so much to her.

Mrs. Croft is 103 years old and fiercely independent. Have you known people like this at an advanced age? Do you find this to be inspiring? Do you think it would be difficult for her daughter to accept that she still lives alone?

I thought it was nice how he brought Mala to Mrs. Croft’s place, almost as a way of getting her blessing for the marriage in some sort of parental way.


message 2: by Librarian_Paul (new)

Librarian_Paul | 9 comments Mod
Please feel free to add your own questions along with your personal thoughts/feelings/opinions. I'm merely providing a jumping off point.


message 3: by Sharon (new)

Sharon | 1 comments Yes. I have read The Namesake and really liked that. I thought this short story was really heatrwarming. Her descriptions are spot on. And I loved that it was a 103 year old character that was able to see and accept the inherent goodness of her newest lodger, despite him being different and an immigrant. The respect he showed her, the care in which he dressed to go meet her, it was such a gorgeous example of cultures blending .


message 4: by Librarian_Paul (new)

Librarian_Paul | 9 comments Mod
Sharon wrote: "Yes. I have read The Namesake and really liked that. I thought this short story was really heatrwarming. Her descriptions are spot on. And I loved that it was a 103 year old character that was able..."

Completely agree. I liked how there's one older character who has clearly lived in this one spot for a very long time and another character who is quite young and has been living in such different places. And yet the author shows us that despite these disparities there is such a profound degree of mutual respect and understanding that can eclipse such differences.


back to top