The Theme Of Identity In 'The Namesake' By Jhumpa Lahiri

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Over the course of the book The Namesake by Indian author Jhumpa Lahiri, there is an evident theme of identity with the idea that a person’s name given at birth is something that that individual with carry with them throughout the entirety of their life. Their given name is something that will ultimately reflect their identity, their personality, appearance, and essentially their overall composition as a unique being. One’s name can unconsciously have an considerably great influence on the many choices that that individual will make with effects on the course of their life. In relation to Lahiri’s book The Namesake, Gogol’s internal quest for his identity is evidently tied to his inability to fully accept his name. The name Gogol was given to the protagonist of …show more content…

Ashoke did not have to look very far for the name it was chosen based on a single moment in his life that completely changed everything, the train accident. “ We all came out of Gogol’s overcoat “ ( Lahiri 78). This quote symbolizes the single idea that Gogol and his father originated from the same origins and are both interconnected in some similar way. Even though it may seem that at a point in his life, Gogol may be able to detach himself from his family and name, but only to the extent of realizing that he cannot fully escape from what he has and who he is. A pivotal transition in Gogol’s life came when he made the decision to completely change his name form Gogol to Nikhil, as a way to free himself from his family and Indian roots. “ Plenty of people change their names: actors, writers, revolutionaries, transvestites” (Lahiri 97). Gogol justified the act of changing his name in comparison to people in history who have done so the same. Gogol states “ slaves renamed themselves once they were

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