Oct. 14, 2014
Short Story Analysis: “A Father”
In “A Father,” Mr. Bhowmick is a round character that lacks transformation; meanwhile, his family successful adjusts to the cultural and social changes of the American culture. Mr. Bhowmick is the protagonist in this story; he is described as a “dutiful, cautious man” (Mukherjee 837) He is devoted to his Hindu religion and his heritage. He is a father that is still stuck to his old roots and traditions of his old life in India. He is referred as a cautious man because “he sets his alarm clock early enough to accommodate a margin of accidents” (Mukherjee 839). These accidents are all factors of his own fear for Kali-Mata. He prays to Kali-Mata, the goddess of wrath and vengeance, he even built a grotto for Kali-Mata. His wife and daughter (Babli) were agnostic towards religion and superstitions that Mr. Bhowmick certainly feared. His family has adapted to the ways of American ways of life, but why can’t he? Mr. Bhowmick and his wife had nothing in common expect their daughter, Babli. Mrs. Bhowmick has always wanted live in America and rejects the Hindu religion. She is hard working and very independent. In her pink nylon negligee, that she “paid for with her own MasterCard” (Mukherjee 839), she displays her culinary skills to her husband making an Eggs-cellent Recipe that had been “scotch-taped to the inside of a kitchen cupboard,” (Mukherjee 837).
. In Detroit, Mr. Bowmick is a character of thinking as bad luck for his neighbour‟s sneeze at the start of his work one morning, he feels that the goddess‟s scarlet little tongue tip wagging at him, arouse fear in his mind. First, he is overcome with guilt at his failure to love his 26year old daughter Babli, he has the impression that the goddess was actually sticking out her tongue at him. In his muddled imagination, which his Americanized wife dismisses as paranoia but the change in the appearance of the Goddess determines the change in the fate of his family.
On learning that the unmarried Babli is pregnant, he begins to pray to
Kali_Mata at nights. As Bhowmick comes to know that Babli‟s pregnancy is through artificial insemination, her shocked father perceives in her aliving incarnation of the goddess Kali herself, especially when she screams at him and sees her tongue looks as thick and red, squirming behind her row of perfect teeth.The reference to Kali underlines the otherness of the Bhowmick family in their
Detroit setting, while also revealing the potential of familiar family members to change into frightening others. The reversal of roles between Mr. Bhowmick, and his wife during the scene of confrontation with Babli, as Mrs. Bhowmick, the progressive, driving force in the couple throughout, seems to go to pieces at the horror of the idea of a syringe replacing a human father, does not last long. Mr. Bhowmick,who had been trying to separate his wife and daughter as they fought, ends up attacking Babli with the rolling pin himself, and it is once again his dynamic wife who stops the violence by calling police. “A Father‟ can be read then as a theme of religious and cultural shock which is revealed through the…