After Ashoke and Ashima are married in a traditional ceremony in India, they move to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Ashoke has been assigned a teaching position. Their baby boy is named Gogol, after a Russian author whose story the young
Despite his attempt to, Gogol can never shed his birth name, nor can he create the person he aspires to be from scratch. Gogol meets Ruth shortly after he decides to change his name and identity. His name is something tangible to represent the beginning of a different kind of life for Gogol, one where everything is unexplored and stimulating.
As he begins college, he feels he must more closely resemble an adult, someone who makes their own decisions and who is not held to any kind of expectations. With relief, he types his name at the tops of his freshman papers His relationship with Ruth falls effortlessly into such a life because although it is not his first time being intimate with a Eastman 2 woman, it is the first time he has given so much of himself to someone.
But such a trip would require telling his parents about Ruth, something he has no desire to do Having just begun trying to be Nikhil, he is not comfortable enough with his new life to accept that his old one continues to have a significant impact on him.
The initial excitement of trying on a new life and falling in love with a girl wears off, leaving Gogol in the same place he was before--lost. The more time Gogol spends away from the influence of his culture, the more he finds himself desperate for a life intensely different from that his parents live.
He finds refuge in the luxurious American lifestyle of Maxine. Lahiri describes the event: The Ratliffs are vociferous at the table, opinionated about things his own parents are indifferent to: Their relationship is a fantasy, a departure from reality that he so desperately seeks, a life that requires nothing from him, not memorized Bengali etiquette, nor the pursuit of a wife.
It is a place that has been good to them, as much a part of them as a member of the family Maxine herself has everything Gogol wished to have his entire childhood: Maxine strongly represented a highfalutin way of life. He gravitates toward her and her lifestyle as an act of rebellion against his own upbringing and culture.
The death of his father suddenly causes Gogol to regret his distance from his family, and therefore, making his relationship with Maxine insignificant.
Moushumi represented the Bengali culture which gave him solace, she knew and accepted the part of him that was Gogol before she accepted Nikhil, something he, himself, had not been able to do until this point in his life.
She is the first woman who knew the side of him he tried to hide all the years since he changed his name, allowing the part of him that is still Gogol to come through. But he is not, could not be, and never wanted to be, entirely immersed in that culture.
They married out of fear and without thinking, it was simply expected. It was expected that they marry and that if they liked one another, that they would marry each other. He thought that was what he wanted. A year later, the shock had worn off, but a sense of failure and shame persists, deep and abiding.
There are nights he still falls asleep on the sofa, without deliberation, waking up at three A. They had both acted on the same impulse, that was their mistake.
It is after their marriage falls apart that Gogol finally realizes that he cannot be one person or the other, Gogol or Nikhil, he is everything he ever was and everything he aspired to be. Lahiri makes a statement about his transformation: Feeling that his name never fit him and he never quite fit in his culture, Gogol attempts to change his identity, and in doing so, loses himself.
His state of emotional distress is reflected in each of his relationships. Each love affair proved that his happiness did not come from the ideal relationship, but of the acceptance that Gogol would always be a part of him, but would never define him.
Eastman 6 Works Cited Lahiri, Jhumpa.About us. John Benjamins Publishing Company is an independent, family-owned academic publisher headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. More. The Namesake Analysis Literary Devices in The Namesake.
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory. Setting.
IndiaBoth Ashoke and Ashima come of age in the aftermath of the Partition of , when India and Pakistan were granted independence by the British government at the same time that they were also s.
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Literary Analysis: The Namesake Literary Analysis-The Namesake The important theme of naming and identity is introduced at the very beginning, when Ashima calls out for her husband. She does not use his name when she calls for him, since "it's not the type of thing Bengali wives do" (Lahiri, J.
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