The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri Essay

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The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri Living in America, the Ganguli’s have the difficult choice of choosing between two dramatically different cultures. As a second generation Indian American, Gogol Ganguli is expected to preserve the ideals of his traditionally Indian parents while still successfully assimilating into mainstream American culture. In “The Namesake,” Jhumpa Lahiri reveals the stark contrasts between the perceptions of Ashima, Ashoke and Gogol in relation to …show more content…
“Assured by his indifference to girls, his parents don’t suspect Gogol … of smoking pot…,driving to a neighborhood town to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show, or into Boston to see bands in Kenmore Square” (93). All of his parents hopes and dreams for Gogol are centered fully on academic achievement. At this point, having an active social life, or even healthy relationships with the opposite sex, is completely out of the question. Gogol fulfills all their scholastic expectations so they do not have any reasons to doubt his intentions. On a weekend where he was supposed to practice for the SATs, he and his friends ended up driving to a college party at the university his father taught at in Cambridge. It was there that he had his first kiss with a girl. The trip, and the elation he felt after the kiss, represents a victory for his Americanized view of relationships and a further distancing from his Indian perspective. Having physical contact with a member of the opposite sex is limited only to your significant other in Bengali culture. A kiss with a person he just met would be unimaginable to his parents. It would be breaking one of the major mores of Indian society. Ashoke and Ashima retained their Bengali standpoint

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