Who doesn’t know him. His parents tell him that they each have two names, too,as do all their Bengali friends in America, and all their relatives in Calcutta. It’s part of growing up, they tell him, part of being a Bengali...”(Lahiri,57). Consequently, this makes Gogol even more confused about the real identity of himself. Later on in the story, Gogol has to decide about the future of his pet name of “Gogol”. Gogol explains this thinking in this quote, “ 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 no sense of victory, no solace. It provides no solace at all.”(Lahiri,289). Gogol thinks
After his divorce, which is a second difficult experience in his life, Gogol spends time with his family, specifically at a party his mother is hosting before she leaves for India, which again influences him to accept his Bengali culture. At this party, Gogol explores his old house and finds the copy of The Overcoat that his father once gave to him, which makes him realize that “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” (Lahiri 433). In college and when he was Maxine, going by Nikhil gives Gogol a newfound perspective in his life, one where being shameful of his name does not really exist. However, after going through both his father’s death and his divorce, Gogol feels upset when thinking about how he changed his name, which “provides no solace at all” (433). With most of his family and Moushumi gone, few people are left to call him Gogol, reminding him who he once was. Gogol’s sadness shows how he has become comfortable with his birth name, which he originally hated. Through his reading of The Overcoat and his reflection on the possible nonexistence of his life as Gogol, Gogol accepts both his name and his culture, which ultimately shows how he becomes comfortable with
He decides that instead of being called Gogol he rather be called Nikhil, an “alternative” name his parent gave him years before. Also displayed in the novel, Gogol, also known as Nikhil, learns more about the origin of his name and it is safe to say he is not a fan of his who he is named after. Despite learning about the origin of his name, Gogol is still not aware of the traumatic experience his dad encountered that eventually led to him naming his son after the famous Russian author. Years pass and Gogol goes off to school, later revealed as Yale. The reader is able to see how Gogol lives life as a young male in a promising country. Gogol falls in love, continues to further his education, and experiences the many joys life has to present. Until the family is astounded by the news that Ashoke passes away from a myocardial infarction. This was a major turning point in the story and huge blunder to the Gangulis
His father on the other hand thinks of the near death experience he had and the connection he has with the name. The name is another struggle that Gogol has to go through in his life. When his father dies later in the book, he begins to hate the name because of the connection it has with his father’s near death experience. But he doesn’t really want to let go of it, for he thinks that he will totally leave the culture that he grew up in behind. He also thinks he will just totally forget his father if he changes his name. The struggles he has with his father are the fact that he totally can’t decide where he wants to go. He doesn’t even go to the same university as his father, which really causes a lot of problems with his father. When things get bad for Gogol, they get really worse. His wife even cheats on him with another man. This causes an even greater struggle and internal pain for Gogol. He decides that they weren’t right for each other and the two split up. This again is another strain on Gogol’s life that he must
In the novel, “ The Namesake ” by Jhumpa Lahiri, on pages 183-227 she talks about how Gogol’s life changed after his father’s death. He was still living in New York but his relationship with Maxine has ended. Ashima called him about her friend’s daughter, Moushumi. Gogol was not interesting because he knew that his mother was trying to marry him with Moushumi. Gogol was trying to focus on his exam in architecture. However, his mother was pressuring him about Moushumi so he decided to meet his mother friend's daughter. On the first meeting, Gogol was astonished to find himself attracted to Moushmi and he wanted to spend more time with her. After that meeting, Gogol began to remember all the time he met Moushumi at family reunions. When they
What’s in a name? Is it an address for the soul? Or merely a string of sounds meaningless and unmoored? In Jhumpa Lahiri’s book The Namesake the main character, Gogol, struggles with how his name and heritage separate him from other Americans, causing him to reject the his name and
Imagine living your life smack dab in the middle of two different lives, two different cultures, and two different identities. As a person who really hasn’t had any issues with her identity, I don’t really know how to relate to Gogol that well. Throughout out Gogol’s life, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, Gogol’s view of his home changes many times.
Shortly after that Gogol find out from a voicemail his mother leaves, that Ashoke has dies of a massive heart attack. It's not too long afterwards that Gogol ends his relationship with Maxine. In the recent time after this Gogol starts to accompany him mother and sister more often that he had done prior to the death of his father. It is during this time frame that Ashima mentions a girl, Moushumi Mazumdaar to Gogol and suggests that he call her. Moushumi was the daughter of past family friends, and had been one of Gogol’s friends as a kid. Gogol contacts Moushumi and after a few dates the two enter a relationship, a relationship that leads into them being married. The couple visit Paris not to long after being married, and meet up with some of Moushumi’s friends Astrid and Donald. Gogol is not to fond of her friends, and is usually uncomfortable being around them. About a year after the two are married Moushumi learn that a past acquaintance Dimitri Desjardins had applied for the university. Having recognized his name, she contacts
Since birth, Gogol learned both American and Bengali culture but felt more in touch with the American side due to living there for the majority of his live and only occasionally visiting Calcutta. Gogol’s parents try to raise him in the Bengali culture, but not living there or being active in the culture has made it a struggle for him to do, causing Gogol to never really consider Calcutta his home. Living in America, Gogol still goes through conflicting situations throughout his professional and social life where by the end of the novel he does not know where he truly feels at
Gogol Ganguli, the main character of The Namesake is a boy stuck in between two worlds. Born in America but is the son of two Bengali parents, he does not know which culture to associate himself with. But as the novel progresses, Gogol starts to portray acts of betrayal not only to his family but also to his heritage and values which his parents hold so dear. One case is when Gogol changes his name just because he had greatly disliked it and he felt that it had caused him great torment. He occasionally questions the meaning of his name only to find out that it is not a Bengali name but a Russian name. He tries to show his parents his feelings on his name but they don’t understand why. So he finds a solution on how to solve an identity crisis
After finishing reading the book and seeing that Gogol has reconnected with his Bengali roots, it seems to me that he will visit his mother often in Calcutta and will keep in touch with the Bengali friends that, for so long, have been like family to him. I imagine him
After his work Gogol visits to their house and sleeps with Maxine, Gerald and Lydia think nothing. Simultaneously Gogol falls in love with Maxine and automatically wishes to marry her. However Gogol`s sense of responsibility ignites his cultural roots after his father’s death and he ignores Maxine. Maxine too repents the truth that she cannot provide any solace to Gogol as she belongs to a different culture.
Calcutta, India; Boston, Massachusetts; New York; late 1960’s to the early 2000’s. • The mood of the story is a mix of thoughtfulness, discontent, and displacement. • The point of view is third person omniscient. • The immigration experience, for families, caused a rift with the interactions between the traditional values of the first generation,
The Conflicts of Gogol Trying to Find Himself Humans grow and change in many different ways throughout their lifetimes. People develop, mature, and start to get a sense of reality, but what humans do the most is lose themselves. It may have to do with one’s surroundings, influences or cultures but eventually someone can lose touch with who they are. The hard part about losing one’s self, is trying to get back to who they want to be. The main character in the novel, “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri, struggles with this constant battle of trying to figure out his identity. Throughout the whole novel, he is constantly trying out new ways to figure out who he is. In each stage of the main characters life, he is almost like a different person. His identity changes in his childhood, in his time as a young adult, and through the events after his father dies, all of which shape his identity by the end of the book.
In the novel, The Namesake, the author Jhumpa Lahiri, presents Gogol as an Indian-American born in Massachusetts who has many conflicts throughout his life. Lahiri presents Gogol with many details to help the readers characterize him in different stages of his life. In the novel, there are several messages that the author presents through the development of Gogol’s character. He is a plentiful character who finally falls into place after a great deal of events in his life.