There are many symbols at work that bear the weight of the inner life of the characters. Mrs. Das’s puffed rice snack is an extension of herself. She shares the snack with no one in the car just as she withholds attention from her daughter. After the reveal of her secret and her disappointment in Mr. Kapasi, she joins her family at the monastic dwelling. She leaves a trail of puffed rice behind her and monkeys gather. When she finds her family, Mrs. Das is shocked to see Bobby – the child conceived in the affair – surrounded by vicious creatures. It is her guilt and mistake that invites trouble.
In The Third and Final Continent, the narrator recounts the first six weeks of his life in America in 1969, balancing a new job, a new wife, and a new country. While awaiting his wife's green card, the narrator lives in the spare room of a 103-year-old woman ( Mrs. Croft ) who is struck by his kindness. The narrator acclimates to his new life, cherishing Cambridge and his the new beginning. However, he is nearly indifferent to the arrival of his wife, Mala . At first they are strangers. When the narrator takes Mala to meet Mrs. Croft, a moment of intimacy and understanding between the two bridges their divide. The narrator then speaks from the present and marvels at the journey his life has encompassed.