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Immigrant communities face unique challenges socially and emotionally.
Many would sympathize with the financial burden of immigration, but cultural barriers tend to prevent people in other ways too, other than the obvious drama of moving to a new country. This theme is the driving factor that connects all of the stories in this collection. By highlighting immigrant populations in New England, the storyteller is providing a lens through which readers can understand how different senses of ethnic heritage pose challenges in modern America.
People are people, regardless of where they live.
This theme occurs by humanizing the immigrant or foreigner. By showing their cultural backgrounds as a matter of common human drives, such as the need for love, family and career, the stories end up being more about what people have in common, and isolation is depicted as the product of pain and tragedy, not as a product of social differences.
"The rain falls on the wicked and the righteous."
By allowing the characters in these short stories to suffer from realistic tragedies, like the death of Kaushik's mother in "Year's End," or by the alcoholism of Rahul in "Only Goodness," the storyteller begins to paint a thematic picture that tragedy and suffering are universal, and maybe that means we should help one another, and be a family to people who are lonely.
Large families are an important part of life for many, and in American culture, that is largely absent.
For these immigrant families, a common thread occurs: The need for family and community support. Many of these families do have parents and siblings and grandparents, but without a broader network of communal culture, many of these immigrant families are incredibly lonely, causing depression and isolation.
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