Religion And Hate In A Father By Bharati Mhukerjee

1766 words - 7 pages

Throughout history most religions have been based around putting their God above all others, and showing love and acceptance, however in today’s society religion appears to be the fuel to a fire of hate. Religion as a whole has become the most controversial and the most violent cause behind some of the most world breaking news, from wars in the Middle East, to death threats to doctors in my home town. This mentality of religion first is demonstrated in the short story A Father by Bharati Mukherjee. In this short story the main character, Mr Bhowmick, creates a miserable life for himself based on what his religion says is acceptable. His family, however, lived life and cherished the freedoms of living in America by creating happiness and accomplishment in their lives. The jealousy of Mr. Bhowmick for a more joyful existence is demonstrated when his religion drives him to an act of violence out of anger and hate.
The problem with putting your faith above all else, is this can make you do irrational things, without thinking about the reprocushions that could occur. In the story Mr. Bhowmick marries a woman, not out of love, but in an arranged situation, all a custom of his religion. “He recited prayers in Sanskrit to Kali, the patron goddess of his family, the goddess of wrath and vengeance” (Mukherjee 364). This line shows that his religion, though not a traditional type seen in our country, is still an everyday ritual that he keeps sacred even though he has moved to America. This religion though does not give him peace, or provide him with a satisfaction in life. His wife, was “an agnostic, a believer in ambition, not grace, and she nagged his prayers were shutting her out of his life. There would be no peace in the house until she hid KaliMata in a suitcase” (Mukherjee 364). This quote from A Father shows that the wife knew his love for his goddess was what was tearing apart his life, and ultimately destroying the possibility of happiness. He was an unhappy soul because he did not think about the traditions of his religion and culture was going to affect his everyday life, and how he viewed society. He had a hate in his heart for anyone who did not do things as he thought they should, even his own family and bloodline. When he discovered his daughter may be pregnant, and unmarried, he was disgusted and questioning what could be done so HE did not look disgraceful to a culture that was thousands of miles away. (368)
The same type of concern people have for their religion should be take for all of mankind, however in most cultures people who are not as their religion states they should be, are shunned, and even killed. Girls in today’s society are told to not have children without first being married. This tradition is religion based. What should be preached is financial stability and maturity. Just like in the story A Father, the woman was mature and well established enough to have a baby on her own, but because her...

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