Essay on Assimilation, Misidentification, And Cultural Restoration

Essay on Assimilation, Misidentification, And Cultural Restoration

Length: 1316 words (3.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Assimilation, Misidentification, and Cultural Restoration
“I don’t get it. Why did you have to give me a pet name in the first place? What’s the point?”
“It’s our way, Gogol,” his mother maintained. “It’s what Bengalis do.”
“But it’s not even a Bengali name… How could you guys name me after someone so strange? No one takes me seriously[.]”
[… The] only person who didn’t take Gogol seriously… who tormented him, the only person chronically aware of and afflicted by the embarrassment of his name, the only person who constantly questioned it and wished it were otherwise, was Gogol. (99-100)

Without people in the world to call him Gogol, no matter how long he himself lives, Gogol Ganguli will, once and for all, vanish from the lips of loved ones, and so, cease to exist. Yet the thought of this eventual demise provides him no sense of victory, no solace. It provides no solace at all…
Gogol gets up, shuts the door to his room, muffling the noise of the party that swells below him… He sits cross-legged on the bed. He opens the book. (289)

In The Namesake, Jumhpa Lahiri explores the idea that assimilating into another culture is much easier than trying to connect with a foreign culture, and uses Gogol’s name change to represent Gogol’s shift in cultural identity. As a child, Gogol rejected his name because he felt that it was a reason for people to alienate him. When speaking to his parents about changing his name, Gogol asks, “Why did you have to give me a pet name in the first place?... No one takes me seriously” (100). Gogol’s question shows that he believes that his name, originally meant to be a good name, is reason for people for people to ridicule him. Gogol does not understand the cultural value behind his name and fears the pos...


... middle of paper ...


...zing that the loss of his family– the one source of culture that he had available to him while growing up– will result in the loss of his cultural identity. He is seen trying to grasp the last bit of his family history, trying to learn everything possible about his background, in order to make up for his lack of attention and value as a young child. It is unfortunate to me that Gogol rejected his culture in the first place, however the American culture is one that is so heavily forced upon today’s children that it is impossible and unreasonable to expect a young child to stand strong against the forces of cultural assimilation, and I sympathize with Gogol as we are now both left in positions where our culture is made unavailable to us; where we can sometimes find ourselves frantically turning pages of books in order to gain the knowledge which we should already know.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Cultural Assimilation Of The Modern World Essay

- ... For instance, when we see a white family cooking Mexican food in white family gathering, salsa, pasta and egg rolls are now as common place on American dinner tables as corns, turkey and pumpkin. Immigrants become familiar with the American lifestyle; They send their kids to school in the morning ;They go to work for the entire day ,and everyone meets at dinner at night and talk about how everybody’s day was or meet on the weekends to watch American football. A study conducted by the university of Washington included that immigrants to the United States often ditch their ethnic diets from a high calorie American fare, partly because it’s cheap and easy to find and also a way to fit in.Al...   [tags: Culture, Cultural assimilation, Assimilation]

Better Essays
963 words (2.8 pages)

Assimilation Is The Best Method For Promoting Cultural Integration Essay

- Balancement The definition of assimilation in culture is “the process by which a person or persons acquire the social and psychological characteristics of a group,” adapting and becoming similar to ones environment (Assimilation, 2005). Countries are requiring immigrants to assimilate to their cultures, yet by doing so they are rejecting the idea of diversity. Assimilation is ripping away migrates identity and handing them a new language and culture as an entrance ticket to a country. Though, assimilation is not a concept required to be a good citizen because values are not taught in a certain language or culture, but are universal concepts....   [tags: Culture, Cultural assimilation, Assimilation]

Better Essays
1077 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Acculturation and Assimilation

- Dreams are powerful. They are images that flash in our mind as we sleep or goals that define us while we are awake. For centuries, dreams have been the reason for immigrants to come to America. Dreams of hope, love, refuge and a dream of a better job, education and life. America has warmly embraced immigrants and their aspirations over the centuries, but unfortunately today Americans do not graciously except all the foreigners that travel to the Untied States in search of the american dream. Instead America labels the individual’s race and categorizes them into a racial class, which only adds to the difficult trials for immigrants and have the potential to hinder dreams....   [tags: Forced Assimilation, America, Immigration]

Better Essays
1569 words (4.5 pages)

The Curious Case Of Assimilation Essay example

- The Curious Case of Assimilation Pavithra Yendluru. Having travelled a lot in my childhood, I have had various experiences relating to assimilation. Some were good, some were definitely challenging and a handful was rather negative. Always being “that kid” in a classroom was frustrating for my younger self and I looked into assimilating myself from an early age. It was quite some time later that I decided assimilation was necessary till a certain extent, which also reflected in the literature I started consuming....   [tags: Culture, The Culture, Assimilation]

Better Essays
746 words (2.1 pages)

The Economics of Ecological Restoration Essay

- Humans have always had a negative impact on the environment. The dependency on the environment has caused us to exploit it as natural resources. These resources are put in to product essential and non-essential goods for the human population. Many of these resources such as timber and fish stocks, are limited by time and can result to resource depletion (Field, 2008). The United Natios Millennium Ecosystem Assessment states that approximately 60% of the world’s ecosystems are uses at an unsustainable rate (David Suzuki Foundation, 2008)....   [tags: ecosystems services,natural resources,restoration]

Better Essays
1283 words (3.7 pages)

Native Americans and Cultural Assimilation Essays

- ... The Great Spirit communicates with humans through intermediaries that reside in nature, which makes Native Americans to live harmoniously with the earth. Everything on earth is considered a spiritual being that needs to be respected to keep the world in balance. Unlike the Christian God, the Great Spirit does not punish people for behaving bad or not believing in Him; the life out of balance with the earth and the community is the only punishment one can bring on him/herself. Consequently, such little tension or anxiety over salvation allowed Native Americans to focus on this-world....   [tags: white culture, history, conflicts]

Better Essays
1945 words (5.6 pages)

The Cultural Traditions Of One 's Ethnic Roots Essay

- 3. erosion The cultural traditions of one’s ethnic roots are eventually eroded away by the overbearing dominant culture. In a letter to her husband, Mrs. Spring Fragrance recounts a lecture that she had attended, “The subject was ‘America, the Protector of China!’...so much expression of benevolence leads me to beg of you to forget to remember that the barber charges you one dollar for a shave while he humbly submits to the American man a bill of fifteen cents….console [your brother] with the reflection that he is protected under the wing of the Eagle, the Emblem of Liberty” (Far 868)....   [tags: Culture, Cultural assimilation, American culture]

Better Essays
1019 words (2.9 pages)

Cultural Assimilation Essay

- Many people come to the United States for change. Change they think will be given to them the moment they step foot on U.S soil, which happens to be incorrect. There is a process to undergo before an individual is able to experience change. A process which occurs once they allow it to begin. Cultural assimilation is “a process by which members of an ethnic minority group lose cultural characteristics that distinguish them from the dominant cultural group or take on the cultural characteristics of another group” (medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com)....   [tags: United States, American society, ethnic groups]

Better Essays
1486 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on The Importance Of Assimilating Into A New Environment For Immigrants

- Importance of Assimilating into a new environment for immigrants Living in a new environment, especially in foreign countries is always difficult. There is a far different culture or language, which can make newcomers nervous and stressed. Some consider assimilating into such new conditions is too hard that they will give up doing that and stay only in their comfort zone. Many countries have the immigrants’ communities in which they will feel comfortable. As a result, some of immigrants do not interact with local people....   [tags: Culture, Cultural assimilation]

Better Essays
754 words (2.2 pages)

A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson Essay

- The Pressure to Assimilate in Mary Rowlandson’s A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson There are times when assimilation is not a choice but rather something is forced. In circumstances such as being taken hostage, the ability to survive must come at the price of assimilating one's own customs into another lifestyle. In February of 1675 the Native Americans who were at war with the Puritans obtained hostage Mary Rowlandson of the Plymouth colony. During this time she must perform a role that is uncommon to a colonial woman's way of life so that she may live among them....   [tags: Narrative Captivity Restoration Mary Rowlandson]

Better Essays
947 words (2.7 pages)