##fluence Of Bengali Culture In Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake

750 WordsMay 31, 20173 Pages
Can a man torn in two become stronger in the end? In Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel The Namesake, the main character, Gogol, is caught between his Indian heritage and American life which causes him to question his identity and carry immense guilt as seen when he abandons his family, dates American Maxine, and divorces his Indian wife. Gogol was raised by Bengali parents who came to America as immigrants. They strongly fondle their Bengali culture and hope to raise their son and daughter to do the same. However, both Gogol and his sister, Ashima, are raised in America and forced to reconcile American influences with their parent’s Bengali culture. Bengali culture for Gogol’s parents is rich in Hindu traditions such as the annaprasan. They…show more content…
She has a different perspective on life from Gogol (being happy with oneself), thus pulling Gogol closer because of his curiosity. This specific remark from the book, “That here at Maxine’s side, in this cloistered wilderness, he is free,” implies that Gogol is most comfortable with Maxine’s family compared to his own. These factors combined cause Gogol’s parents not approving of Maxine because of Gogol spending most of his time with Maxine and her respectful family. This separation from his family further violates his Bengali culture because the Bengali culture values close-knit relationships within the family. After his father’s death, Gogol pulls away from Maxine and begins to spend more time with his mother and sister. His mother advices him to get in contact with the daughter of a Bengali friend. He meets and eventually marries Moushumi. This seems like he is embracing Bengali culture, and he is trying to, but this doesn’t last. “And yet the familiarity that had once drawn [Moushumi] to [Gogol] has begun to keep her at bay. Though she knows it's not his fault, she can't help but associate him, at times, with a sense of resignation, with the very life she has resisted, has struggled so mightily to leave behind” (Lahiri 235). Moushumi cheats on Gogol early on in their marriage and Gogol divorces her. “The shameful truth was that she was not involved, was

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