Literary Analysis Of 'The Namesake' By Jhumpa Lahiri

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The Namesake Literary Analysis In The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri illustrates several factors contributing to an individual’s life, such as the struggle faced by settling immigrant families and their growing second-generation children. This fundamental idea, developed by Lahiri, explains that the absence of strong roots heavily affects an individual’s identity. This is clearly depicted through Gogol and the conflict he faces with his identity, the central theme and the symbolism found in Gogol’s names. Firstly, the main protagonist, Gogol, is heavily affected by not having strong roots. After being introduced to him, almost immediately, we are introduced to his struggle with identity. Gogol is described as a normal Bengali Indo-American individual.…show more content…
This is the central theme in which it is described that not having a strong sense of where one comes from, impacts who they are. One of the biggest examples of feeling like he doesn’t fit in is his name. Due to his name not being Bengali nor American, it is felt by Gogol that he is separated from both cultures and essentially from his family. Miserably, he expresses that “he hates having to explain to people that [his name] does not mean anything ‘in Indian’. ” He always feels left out, especially during Bengali get-togethers where he does not fit in with Sonia, or with the mothers or with the fathers. Gogol is not self-confident when he thinks of himself as Gogol. When he changes his name to Nikhil, for a while, he is unaware of how to be that person for quite some time. The change of his name expresses his change into adulthood, and it is the first step in him finding out who he is. In a way, the two names represent the two parts of his life; Gogol represents the life his parents laid out for him and Nikhil describes the life he wants for himself. Gogol is the name given to him by his parents which was never supposed to be his real name. He always finds it embarrassing that he has a pet name that was turned into a good name. Gogol represents the life that his parents have laid out for him, which is a stable home and a stable life, both…show more content…
Gogol and his conflict and the symbolism in the book, represented by his names, all contribute to this central

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