In the short story, “The New World” the author’s main characters are caught between their Indian and American cultures.
Mr. Bhowmick works as an engineer with General Motors and lives in Detroit with his wife and daughter. He worships the goddess Kali-Mata in his home, believes in the sanctity of Hindu superstition.
Every day he finds himself making frequent compromises between his own beliefs and the American pragmatism that surrounds him.
When he to his horror discovers that his unmarried daughter is pregnant, his first reaction is that she should get an abortion to save the honour of the family.
The short story “The New World” takes place on an ordinary Wednesday morning in the household of a Hindu family.
The author’s style of writing allows the reader to get the feeling of being physically present in the two-bedroom apartment in Detroit with the Bhowmick family.
Mr. Bhowmick is the protagonist of the story. He is described as a “dutiful, cautious man”. He is dutiful to his heritage and the Hindu religion, often praying to Kali-Mata
”the goddess of wrath and vengeance” and it is evident throughout the story as he reflects on his family’s lack of Hindu values and traditions that continues to fall away from the traditional eastern ways.
For instance, he 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.