The Namesake By Jhumpa Lahiri

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As sentient beings, having a unique identity tied to oneself is a vital part of what becomes our entire life. No matter what one goes through, having their identity and knowing who they are is so very important to keep them going. However, identity is not always an easy thing to discover, and it is forever changing and growing. The search for one’s identity is not a painless journey, but it is often worth it in the end. As is the case for Gogol Ganguli, one of the main protagonists in the novel The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri. Throughout the novel, Gogol is in search for his identity and for meaning behind his name. Names were a large struggle for Gogol, who spent about half of the novel under the name Nikhil. He even ended up developing a bit of a split personality and identity at a young age for both of his names. He traded in Gogol for Nikhil once he was of age, and lived his life as Nikhil according to that created identity. Gogol also struggles with his feelings for his Bengali heritage and culture, as he is American-born to immigrant parents, he can never experience his culture fully. He is very much an American and wants to fit in with the people around him; due to this, he did not take much interest in his culture nor did he identify with it. He distances himself from his culture and his family when in search for his identity. Gogol accepting his heritage ends up being a sort of key to unlocking his identity, as he ends the book in acceptance of himself, his name,
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