Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland: A Novel About The Impulsive Nature Of The Youth, As Well As The Hesitation And Regret

Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland is a novel about the impulsive nature of the youth, as well as the hesitation and regret that can make a long life not worth living. As stunning complexities, catastrophes, and disclosures increase all through the book, Lahiri insightfully analyzes the psychological subtleties and nuances of conviction, marriage, anguish, parenthood, and regret and carefully scrutinizes the ethical conundrums inborn in an aggressive insurgency. The novel shows through gestures, symbolism and impeccable details, the subtlety with which people encounter life. If paired with another great work such as Thomas Foster’s How To Read Literature Like A Professor, The Lowland will prove to be an invaluable addition to the Humanities course; this novel will help students learn how to uncover nuances, introduce students to the main topics covered in this course while also complementing the other books we read in this course.

The Lowland will introduce many of the vibrant topics covered in this course such as tragedy, human nature and even morality. The Lowland is a timeless tale of emotions, people’s beliefs, their vulnerabilities, their needs and struggles all woven together and brought to life by the simplicity of expression, a fluid pace of narrative and multi-dimensional perspectives. This novel warrants serious reading, considering the vast amount of detailing that has been put into the narrative. Thomas Foster’s How To Read Literature Like A Professor enlightens the reader on how to do just that. One of the main aspects of Fosters novel is educate the reader on how to read intelligently and dig deeper to find hidden connotations in order develop more nuanced thought.

Foster’s novel will help the reader to uncover the richness of the emotional complexities involved in the novel to make for a rewarding reading experience. Udayan, the most important character of the book, is a dynamic idealist whose social conscience propels him into the Naxalite movement, the Maoist revolt that emerged out of the merciless persecution of laborers in the Naxalbari region of Darjeeling.From speeches and forms of propaganda he progresses to knives and bombs, and is forced into hiding after his involvement in the killing of a policeman. One afternoon paramilitary forces surrounded his house and he was forced out at gunpoint and shot dead on the street. Although founded on the the principles of fighting oppression the Naxalites committed atrocious crimes which were sadistic, gruesome and intended to shock.

The questions of morality are imminent in this part of the novel. In this course morality and ethics are a huge topic for debate and this novel is able to shed light on many of the moral dilemmas presented in a violent insurgency such as the Naxalite movement. Although dead within the first 100 pages of this 325 page book, Udayan was an extremely important character in all aspects of this book. Even after his death there was never more than two pages were the reader wasn’t made aware of his absence in some way or the other. There is no relief in the storyline; it strangles you with one tragedy after the other and leads to a myriad of emotion after emotion. Every single book/play we have read so far in this course has some sort of tragedy, often times many. With Maus the we see how Spiegelman emphasizes the grief, guilt and anger the holocaust left behind, with Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, we see how one tragedy lead to many and ultimately a civil war.

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