We as readers can see the decline of Dwight as the story progresses. He is judgmental of the Indians, contradictory to his reputation as a worldly person. From the onset, Dwight does not take Shah as seriously as he should; later, the dynamic is reversed and Shah becomes the successful businessman while Dwight becomes submissive. Dwight expects the Indians to wait on him and for them to build up his ego, leading for an overwhelming, not to mention false, sense of authority. “You can make anything in India” is a reoccurring theme as Dwight explores the boundaries of this statement.
The slow decline of morality exhibited by Dwight is first introduced with the old woman and her gypsy children. A common American visitor to India would be aware of the beggars that exist there and take action to avoid confrontation with this danger. Dwight, on the other hand, seems to invite the interaction. He somewhat denies the old woman but he is entranced by her, and later the children, so much so that he follows her to an unknown building. This thirst for adventure and passion becomes and inner-conflict for Dwight because, as is referred to a few times, he knows that what he is doing is wrong.
Even when he returns home to Boston, Dwight has to fight the urge and desire to return to India, a place detested by his coworkers. This shows that he is not focusing on the place or even how his life will be when he is there; he is only thinking about the passion that he felt in being there. So much so that Dwight gave Indru his wedding ring, a symbol of love, which he carried with him at all times since the end of his marriage with Maureen. He essentially discarded the ring and any sense of real love along with it. Indru then used the ring to pay for a house and later she grew so attached to Dwight’s presents and payments that the relationship became mutually greedy. He was hungry for desire and she for wealth.
Dwight’s morals and feelings lessen in importance throughout the story, leading to the eventual downfall of his character. His decisions, prompted by desired reactions, led him to act in ways the denied everything he had ever known; a feeling to which he became addicted.