The Story “The Interpreter Of Maladies” By Jhumpa Lahiri Free Essay

On the surface, it is most likely that a reader may understand ‘The Interpreter of Maladies” as one of the simplest stories about a family of five on vacation in a foreign country. However, the introduction of Mr. Kapasi, who is portrayed as a lonely tour guide, makes the short story a poignant estrangement. Jhumpa Lahiri employs a unique approach to narrating the tale, using Mr. Kapasi’s subjective viewpoint about the Das family. In particular, Mr. Das, Mrs. Das, and Mr. Kapasi are Indians, but the Das family has lived the better part of their lives in United States (U.S.), a different culture (Lahiri 12). Although Lahiri uses a stranger to describe the Dases, this narration technique succeeds in highlighting the various ways in which people perceive cultural differences, including the projection of a person’s own belief systems onto others.

“The Interpreter of Maladies” is a representation of Lahiri’s opposition to the superficial or layman’s adoption of what constitutes either the American or Indian culture. The author achieves this demonstrating how Mr. Kapasi fantasizes about having a romantic relationship with Mrs. Das. The protagonist is portrayed grasping onto a variety of trivial moments as a way of supporting his fantasies. For instance, when Mrs. Das describes his tour guide job as “romantic,” he somehow becomes crazier, imagining how she is already interested in him. Mr. Kapasi does not stop there, but rather continues to compare and contrast his love life, guessing “if Mr. and Mrs. Das were such a bad match, just as my wife and I were’ (Lahiri 21). With these fantasy-driven projections, Mr. Kapasi appears to reach a point of no return when he does not only construct a weird image the Das family but also imagine living with Mrs. Das as his lover and potentially wife.

Besides reliance on fantasy to imagine a future with Mrs. Das, Mr. Kapasi uses his preconceived knowledge about culture to observe and interpret the Dases. Lahiri ensures this is a success by telling the story in the third person point of view, with the reader getting little to no insight into the interior thoughts of individual members of the Das family. In other words, the author places much emphasis on how Mr. Kapasi watches and notes behaviors that, in his view, are odd. For instance, he is disgusted when Mr. Das calls his wife “Mina” before his daughter Tina (Lahiri 14). To Mr. Kapasi, it is unethical in India to have men refer to their wives using their first names, especially in the presence of children. From this observation, Mr. Kapasi concludes that the Das family members have poor relationships, behaving like are siblings (Lahiri 14, 15). The same misconception about culture does not apply to Mr. Kapasi alone, but also to the three children, especially when they are amazed by traffic rules: “Daddy, why is the driver sitting on the wrong side in this car?” (Lahiri 16). Concisely, the biased interpretations by Mr. Kapasi and observations made by the Dases constitute a projection of their own beliefs, values, and desires; depicting a clash of cultures.

Work Cited

Lahiri, Jhumpa. Interpreter of Maladies. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000.

Facial Expressions Of Emotions


The written material under analysis is a representation of how the emotional stress becomes a part of our gestures and expression s by means of our unconscious actions and conditioned reflexes. In this respect the statistics given in the book chapters provides the scope of people who are really dependent on their gesture and mimic. Hence, the work of polygraph is too sharp for identifying of the reasons for, for instance, whether an individual lies or not. Looking at the numbers it is necessary to admit that a person gives more truthful information by virtues of his/her superficial implementation. By this one should understand that everything that a man can feel inside is able to be detached outside. Moreover, physiological arousal is reasoned in most cases by emotional splashes which are directly interrelated with the organism of a man. People think that they are able to hide their real emotions and intentions about something. Alas! The scientific thought today, especially in psychology goes too far. Facial expressions, body gestures, and even the way a man talks or stays among other people can be helpful for identification of his/her motives at the moment and for further times. All in all, emotional state is simply mirrored in peoples’ physical appearance.

According to facial expressions, there is a huge scope of investigations by the eminent psychologists in this field. It is not surprising that various emotional reflections can be read out of a man’s face. Hence, the feeling of fear, love, passion, disgust etc. can be detached, notwithstanding how hard an individual tries to hide them. The article gives an example of the book by Paul Ekman and Wallaced Friesen, titled Unmasking the Face. Thus, the book shows the difference of how the mimic and gestures can be simply outlined out of the individual’s emotional background. Furthermore, the book gives valuable information about the ways of some improvements for contemporary business. The thing is that employers in the modern world are apt to “catch the feeling” of their employees and even partners while having hot discussions abut the strategic outlook on the budding perspectives. Ekman’s Facial Action Coding System (FACS) is represented in the article as an etalon for such psychological actions. Thus, every move of any facial muscle can be valued as the sign. In this respect James and Lange explained that the emotional evaluation goes after the physical stressor. Cannon and Bard explained suchlike bilateral approach to be featured simultaneously. The case described in the article explains how the brain and fear are interrelated. Thereupon, the case of S. M. underlines the ability of the brain to identify the facial expressions by an individual which were seen in other individuals.

For making stress and emotional excitement fall down the psychological approach in the article leads to Aristotle and his notion of catharsis. Within contemporary means for making aggression slow down is “bataca” fight when people hit each other by foam bats releasing their negative emotions. Michalyi Csikszentmihalyi, on the other hand, recommends being in active position in the workplace and in the society, so that to feel no depression. Being involved in a particular activity saves peoples’ emotions and mental health, because they realize their being in flow. Another touch concerns cognitive appraisal for emotions which helps to turn down, for instance, a bad day into a good one for an individual.


Facial expressions are observed in the underlined article with a special approach at the facial behaviors. The point is that throughout the face one can gain much constructive information. It is so, because “a quick facial display can reveal the speaker’s attitude about the information being conveyed” (Breazeal para. 1). Moreover, verbal communication can be supported by means of facial assistance. In this respect the significance of how a speaker correlates the urge of his/her speech can be reflected on how a listener recognizes it not only by means of verbal signals but also by the personal attitude of the speaker while discussing the problem. A difficult mechanism of facial movements which seem to be really tiny and hidden from a particular view can be displayed in the following way:

A difficult mechanism

Thus, the face partake sin social and behavioral responses and can be valued as a vital source for information. Moreover, the researchers tend to think that the facial expressions are too hard to imitate, because they are straightforwardly related to the sphere of mental activity and sub-conscientiousness. One more approach presupposes an interpolation-based technique by Kismet realized in three dimensions, namely: arousal, valence, and stance (Breazeal para. 5). Hence, the 3-D model for generation of facial expressions can evaluate the emotional state of an individual in detail, giving more grounds for further research of his/her behavior in the past, at the moment, and particular intentions in the future. Behavior, the world view and the occupation of an individual may serve to be additional explanation for having definite facial emotions.


Breazeal, C. (2009). Facial Expressions. Web.

Russell, J & Jarvis, M. (2008). Exploring psychology for AS Level AQA ‘A’ (Chapters 10, 11, 12, 15). Brussels: Folens Limited.

Guide: How To Build A 24-Hour Digital Clock


With the wide availability of such commercial products as digital clocks, this report proposes a design for developing a digital clock through simple and accessible steps. There are many integrated circuits providing the functionality of modern digital clocks. The present report, however, suggests designing an integrated circuit based on the desired functionality of the device. The specifications of the proposed prototype include a simple display of 24-hour, 4 digits time. The report is divided into the following sections: an introduction with a brief historical background of digital clocks and a purpose statement, the design section outlining the main principles utilized in the prototype, the prototype section with simple explanatory schemes, and a conclusion.


Digital clocks became an inseparable element of our everyday life. Although analog clocks are still used, although mainly for decorative purposes, it can be stated that when it comes to accuracy digital clocks are more widespread. The idea of digital clocks as commercial products can be traced to the 1950s, 1957 to be exact, when “[t]he Hamilton Watch Co of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, produced the world’s first electric watch” (BBC Guide). Since that time, the digital clock has gone through many refinements, although the main principle of its work remained the same. The principle is largely based on the functions of an ordinary analog clock, merely replacing mechanical components with electronics. In that regard, the functions in a digital clock consist of an electronic time base, having a regular signal repeated every single second, minute, and hour, a counter, and a digital display (Brain).

Despite the apparent simplicity, the process of building a digital clock can be far more complex, which nevertheless, does not reduce the experience of having a digital clock built on one’s own. In that regard, this report provides an overview of the process of building a 24-hour digital clock, indicating the different components used in the process.


In this section the main components of the digital clock will be discussed in detail, outlining the general principle of their work. The design shall have the following features shown in table 1.


  • Clock box: a case with the dimensions of 5.5x 1.5x.15 inches
  • Display: four 7-segment LED digits for displaying the clock time in minutes and hours.
  • Set-up buttons: three buttons with the following functions:

    • Time set: with this button held, the hour and minute button can advance.
    • Hour button: Each press of the button will make the hour time advance by one.
    • Minute button: Each press of the button will make the minute time advance by one. (Ashenden 425)


  • Power supply: The supply of the clock will be performed through 5-volt power. thus, the power supply will have the following components:

    • 12-volt AC transformer
    • 5-volt regulator
    • bridge rectifier
    • 2 electrolytic capacitors
    • 5 one-volt diodes
    • 1 Kohm resistor (Brain)

  • Display

    • 4 LED red common anode segments
    • 4 binary-to-7 segments converters
    • 20 resistors (330 ohms)
    • 2 separator LEDS
    • 4 counters (Brain)

The overall scheme of the clock will look like outlined in Graph 1.

The General Design of the Digital Clock.
Graph 1: The General Design of the Digital Clock.

The general principle of the digital clock is can be explained through the division of the clock into 4 distinct parts, which are the power supply, counters, conversion and output. The power supply section will provide outputs, 5 V to power up the clock and the 60-Hz signal which will be used as a time base for the clock. The preservation of the 60 Hz sin will be implemented through the AC transformer, while the bridge rectifier will convert the AC voltage into DC. Accordingly, the output of the power supply section will result in a 60 Hz wave and a 5 V line. For the purposes of this report, it is implied that the 5 V line will be connected to every element of the clock, and accordingly, the same can be said about grounding.

The counter section of the digital clock will use several counters in order to convert the 60 Hz signals consequently into seconds, minutes and hours. As the built digital clock will not display seconds, such a section will be directly connected to the following counters without output on the display. The principle of the counters is the sequential division by 10 and by six, with the binary output representing sequentially the seconds, the minutes, and the hours (Brain). For the hour’s section, the division by 3 will make the maximal binary number on the ten-hour section equal two. The clock shall reset by connecting the output of the hour counters through a logical AND gate, which will reset the hour counters to zeros as 24 (Brain).

With the output of the counter section being in binary numbers, in order for them to be displayed as numerals, they have to be converted using, it is converted through binary-to-7 segments converters. The outputs of the converter are connected to each of the 7 segments of the LED. As stated earlier, only the minutes and hours sections are connected to the LED respectively.


Following the aforementioned outlined framework for the digital clock, the present report suggests a prototype that implements the parts outlined in the paper. The distinguishing feature of the prototypes can be seen in integrating the functions of the digital clock into a single circuit, with all the functions being built in. The functions include counters and binary to 7-segments convertors. The circuit is a modification of the scheme proposed on the website How Stuff Works, with the main parts numbers and characteristics being modified from there. The scheme of the IC can be seen in graph 2, where all of the outputs of this circuit should be connected to the LEDs.

Prototype Integrated Circuit for the digital Clock.
Graph 2: Prototype Integrated Circuit for the digital Clock.

The aforementioned IC will serve as the core of the digital clock, where the power supply will serve as the input for it, with the output being the LEDs of the clock. It should be noted that only two convertors are connected in the scheme, due to limitations in the graphical output, whereas in real life all converters should be connected to the outputs of IC. In that regard, the complete scheme of the prototype can be seen through graph 3, where the IC is denoted as IC 1.

The Prototype.
Graph 3: The Prototype.

Other components of the circuit should include the set-up and the reset button, while at the same it can be modified further to work from other power sources, e.g. batteries. In the case of the latter, a crystal oscillator should be used. Accordingly, it should be noticed that the 60 Hz oscillation in this circuit implies the usage of a 110 V power line, rather than the 220 V used in many European countries. The enclosure of the clock shall have the dimensions indicated in the design section, although they might be changed in accordance to such parameters as the size of the used LEDs, wiring, and any personal preferences.


It can be concluded that the built project represents a simple implementation of the principles of clockwork in digital form. The proposed design is simple, yet, provides the essential functions of a digital clock, i.e. showing the time. Replacing the components with an integrated circuit can be useful in mass production. Unlike ready commercial products, the present clock can be modified to personal preferences, which include the size of the clock, the color of the LEDs, and others. Accordingly, new features can be added in the future such as an alarm, a calendar, and a different display.

Works Cited

Ashenden, Peter J. The Student’s Guide to Vhdl. 2nd ed. Amsterdam ; Boston: Morgan Kaufmann/Elsevier, 2008. Print.

BBC Guide. “The History of the Digital Watch”. 2003. Inventions. BBC. Web.

Brain, Marshall. “How Digital Clocks Work”. 2003. How Stuff Works. HowStuffWorks, Inc. Web.

“How to Make a Digital Clock”. 2010. EE Design Journal. Web.

MURTY, K. KRISHNA. “Standalone Digital Clock”. 2010. Kits’ n’ Spares. Web.

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