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Word Count: 1,128
Culture Shock Throughout literature authors incorporate personal experiences in their work If a reader knows enough background information heshe can pick up on subtle hints hidden in the text that reveal little known facts about the author Bharati Mukherjee like many of her peers draws on personal events and memories when writing Her short story A Father truly mirrors her own life The story is about the discomfort reluctance and hostility felt by an immigrant living in the United States As a whole Mukherjees works focus on the phenomenon of migration the status of new immigrants and the feeling of alienation often experienced by expatriates Pradhan 1 Upon her arrival into the United States Mukherjee felt this same alienation her characters do A Father parallels Mukherjees uneasy transition into the American lifestyle Like Mukherjee Mr Bhowmick cannot accept his new life nor can he deal with the loss of his previous lifestyle Mr Bhowmick is unable to make a distinction between the past and the present His constant longing for the values associated with his homeland and his disdain for his current circumstances collide in Mukherjees A Father There are several elements of Mr Bhowmicks life that generate feelings of longing for the traditional lifestyle he lead in his homeland The most important symbol of this in the story is Kali-Mata the goddess of wrath and vengeance Kali is the familys goddess They are supposed to revere her and she is supposed to protect and guide them Mr Bhowmick sees Kali in everything he does Every morning before leaving for work or getting out of bed he sees Kali taunting him This eight inch statue made of metal and painted a glistening black so that the metal glows likes the oiled black skin of a peasant woman is the only reminder Mr Bhowmick has left from his childhood Every time he sees it it precipitates feelings of regret for all that he gave up
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