• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Namesake- Motif of names. In Jhumpas Lahairis The Namesake it becomes evident that Gogol never fully belongs as Gogol or Nikhil

Extracts from this document...


Emma Petterson- Namesake (first 5 chapters ESSAY) In Jhumpas Lahairi?s The Namesake it becomes evident that Gogol never fully belongs as Gogol or Nikhil. Gogol retains conflict regarding his name throughout the novel. Belonging is the fundamental nature of humans to connect with others. Names and naming and his name are a constant source of difficulty for Gogol. Names are closely linked to identity and can help or hinder a sense of belonging. However in Gogol?s circumstance he struggles to fit in both the America society and his Bengali home as he feels his name does not belong in either culture. The motif of naming causes Gogol to have difficulty in relationships with women and is a catalyst for the cultural and family conflict he experiences. Yet when Gogol acquires the new name ?Nikhil? ironically complicates his sense of identity and so struggles to find a sense of belonging. The motif of naming is used throughout The Namesake to represent the connection between belonging and identity. As Gogol ages his name represents the way in which he does not ?fit? into American society. ...read more.


He feels like he neither belongs to either of his dual cultures. Gogol?s name therefore acts as an extended metaphor for his sense of cultural identity. Gogol?s school trip helps forge a sense of belonging to his name and highlights the conflict that occurs around his name. It had ?not occurred to Gogol that names die over time that they perish just as people do.? Names in this instance are personified by Lahiri. Gogol becomes ?attached to? these names imprinted on paper. These American names are unusual, like his, and so Gogol feels connected to them. Yet these names are of the past and have little effect on his insecurity and confidence in the present and therefore, his sense of belonging. In rejecting the name given to him by his parents, Gogol feels he has achieved freedom of identity and a greater sense of belonging the American culture. Gogol when he is a school boy is to be given a good name along with his ?daknam?. Yet when Gogol?s teacher asks whether he wishes to be called Nikhil, ?after a pause, he shakes his head?. ...read more.


His new name allows him to be someone different and escape his cultural heritage and family. It allows him to belong to American society. At the college party, Gogol is reluctant to introduce himself to Kim as "Gogol," so he says his name is Nikhil. It gives him the confidence to kiss her: "It hadn't been Gogol who had kissed Kim... Gogol had nothing to do with it."Yet ?there is only one complication: he doesn?t feel like Nikhil?. The irony of this statement is that he still doesn?t belong even though he has changed his name and self. In this case, through changing his name, he has rejected his old name and therefore his true identity. In conclusion, Gogol?s distinctive name prevents him from fully belonging into American and Indian culture. Gogol feels he achieves freedom of identity and a greater sense of belonging to the hegemonic American culture through rejecting his name and cultural heritage. Yet the acquisition of the new name ?Nikhil? ironically complicates his sense of identity and so struggles to feel a sense of belonging. Only through accepting his cultural heritage, family and name can he achieve a true sense of belonging. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. In the novel, The Namesake, by the author Jhumpa Lahiri, there is a difference ...

    book "the overcoat", "But as the bell rings, and the students rise collectively from their desks, Mr Lawson holds up his hand" (301). The author alludes to Ashoke's accident; "holds up his hand" it foreshadows events to come in the novel.

  2. Kafka vs Gogol Crossing of the Boundaries in The Metamorphosis and The Nose: a ...

    Gregor simply accepts his tragedy in a humble and a submissive way. He is hiding away and self-reflecting, but continues to think only about his family. However, life around him changes dramatically. He is no longer loved and needed. This leads to unexpected revelations, a breakthrough in his understanding of family relations and to a final epiphany.

  1. family relationships in hedda

    Strindberg's later work help provide an additional insight into the playwright's main concerns. In The Father, Strindberg raises a further issue concerning family: can any father know (in a time before genetic testing) if his child is truly his? Furthermore, how does the subsequent uncertainty effect the position and authority of a father in a patriarchal household?

  2. Discuss how good Atticus is as a father.

    It is for this reason he is repeatedly sought after for advice and help, as pointed out when he helps Mr. Cunningham with legal work, though aware his financial situation will not allow him to pay his fees. In addition to all his qualities, he is also the only white

  1. This essay will explore how these concepts of belonging are demonstrated within Jhumpa Lahiris ...

    of pain and immense anticipation- with the agony of being away from your home country. Eventually, Ashima?s faith in America is strengthened when she accidentally leaves her bags on the subway and the next day when Ashoke calls the lost and found, they find that someone was nice enough to turn the bags in, without anything missing.

  2. Edgar Allen Poe:Poe frequently uses a premature burial motif and a theme of suffocation.

    This peculiarity of character grew with my growth, and in my manhood, I derived from it one of my principal sources of pleasure.? (Poe, "The Black Cat", 1845) Although, the events in the story lead us to believe he is far from that.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work