When Cultures Collide: an Analysis of “a Father”

Topics: Culture, Western culture, Sociology Pages: 4 (1212 words) Published: March 19, 2013
When Cultures Collide: An Analysis of “A Father”
There are many different cultures and traditions that are practiced all over the world. Each of these cultures and traditions coexist in the same environment. However, with in families there is usually a set of traditions and customs that are upheld across generations and when there is a break in those practices problems arise. The Indian novelist Bharati Mukherjee, depicts a culture clash between, American culture and Hindu culture in her short story “A Father”. Culture clashes are usually thought of occurring between foreigners, but a culture clash can also occur within a house hold. An example of such a culture clash taking place is portrayed in Mukherjee’s “A Father”. This short story illustrates a strained relationship between a father and daughter because of cultural influences and a fatal ending. Although being in America where diverse cultures are accepted, Mukherjee utilizes strategic word usage and sensory details to show cross cultural conflicts between a father and a daughter.

In the story, the author’s placement of various words is precise in conveying an overall intended message for the audience to gain which is to notice the differences and how it has changed the general family dynamic. The daughter by the name of Babli is born in America and has adopted an American influence whereas the father, Mr.Bhowmick has a strong Hindu culture; this is where they tend to bump heads simply, because eastern and western cultures differ greatly in many aspects. For instance, the father wakes up and begins his morning rituals; 5:43 AM, breakfast, gurgling, praying to Kali-Mata, eats, drinks tea. That snippet of his everyday life reflects how structured and punctual he is. The disappointment is evident throughout the story as he reflects on his family’s lack of Hindu values and traditions that continue to fall short of the reserved and traditional eastern ways. He is afraid his family will be shamed because...
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