The Lowland and Theory


By reading The Lowlands from an ecocentric perspective, we can see how Lahiri uses  the natural environment to illustrate ubiquitous patterns and paradigms that are echoed within the lives of her characters. By using ubiquitous, natural paradigms, the reader is prompted to observe the complex issues of the characters as a scientist observes nature. Ecocriticism is a modern field of study that focuses on how humans connect with nonhuman nature or the environment in literary texts and typically focuses on environmental awareness (Barry 254). In The Lowlands, Jhumpa Lahiri uses the environment to establish a paradigm or structure in which the characters inhabit. In using natural paradigms to illustrate complex moments of the narrative, Lahiri is subtly requesting that we observe these moments no differently than if we were scientists making similar observations in nature: objectively and without judgment. When we observe these ubiquitous connections objectively, we gain a deeper understanding for universal life.

Published by Val Smith

Artist, writer, dreamer.

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