The Namesake By Jhumpa Lahiri

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For some people finding out who they are is not exactly the hardest thing to do in the world, some know it from the moment they are born. There are, however, also other people who have to struggle and search for their identities. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri is the story of a boy who does just that. It focuses on the Ganguli’s, a Bengali family, who, after moving homes from India to the United States, struggle to uphold a delicate balance between honoring the traditions of their heritage and assimilating into the American culture. Although Ashoke and Ashima’s parents are proud of the sacrifices they have made to provide their children with as many opportunities as they could, their son, Gogol, strives to create his own identity without leaving his heritage behind. In the novel Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, Gogol faces many struggles while searching for his identity. In the beginning of the novel, Gogol’s struggle with his identity begins with his name. The first issue was when he was first born. His mother, Ashima, and his father, Ashoke, had planned on waiting for a letter containing the chosen names for their child from Ashima’s grandmother in India, to arrive. But the hospital would not let them be discharged until the baby had a name. Soon enough Ashoke had come up with a name. When Lahiri writes, “But for the first time he thinks of that moment not with terror, but with gratitude” (Lahiri 28), it is evident that after the train accident Ashoke does not remember the

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