Gogol's Identity Struggle
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The paper looks at how in the novel "The Namesake", Jhumpa Lahiri explores the process that the primary character, Gogol, experiences as he matures and finds his place in the world between two diverse cultures; that of his immigrant parents, and that of America, the country of his birth. The paper describes how the story centers on the inappropriate and uncommon "pet" name given to Gogol at birth, and how it the primary setting for the ensuing identity struggle that he will experience until adulthood.
From the Paper:"The word deshi means countryman in several subcontinental languages. The Ganguli's are Bengali, coming from Bangladesh, which literally means people from the Bengal region. The book is most likely based upon Lahiri's reflections from her own life. "Growing up brown and 'foreign' in a town where white was the predominant theme had its challenges. There was the persistent feeling of other, not American enough, not Indian enough, of constantly straddling fences, stretching identities." (Wiltz, Washington Post, November, 7, 2003)
"Lahiri's choice of the title for her book is appropriate, because namesake is defined as one who is named for another (OED). Furthering the importance of names, her choices of names for the primary characters in the book reflect some of the characteristics of each individual. For example, Ashima means "she who is limitless, without borders", and Ashoke means "he who transcends grief" (26)."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Lahiri, Jhumpa. The Namesake. First Mariner Books edition, 2004, Houghton Mifflin
- Old English Dictionary
- Purhit-Caton, Sandya. quote from class, 8 February, 2006
- Sawhney, Hirsh. The Ganguli Bunch, The Brooklyn Rail www.thebrooklynrail.org
- Wiltz, Teresa. 'Maladies' author finds success a bit disquieting. Washington Post, 7 November 2003.
Cite this Term Paper:
Gogol's Identity Struggle (2010, June 01) Retrieved September 20, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/gogol-identity-struggle-119990/
"Gogol's Identity Struggle" 01 June 2010. Web. 20 September. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/gogol-identity-struggle-119990/>