The Struggle to be Bengali and American in Jhumpa Lahiri's 'The Namesake'

3046 Words12 Pages
Outline I. The Namesake critical essay A. Introduction 1. Emphasis on how formation of identity is germane to Ganguli family due to their Bengali culture and their American surroundings. 2. Thesis a. The cultural values of the past cannot be erased, and needs to be rectified with the present in order to forge a salutary identity for the future. B. Supporting Paragraph: Ashima's journey 1. Her resistance to American culture while pregnant eventually leads to a resistance of Bengali culture from her children. 2. Indicative of the identity crisis faced by this family. C. Supporting Paragraph: Ashoke's naming 1. The conflict between American and Bengali culture leads to Ashoke's unusual naming of his son. 2. The name represents Gogol's parents and their traditional heritage. D. Supporting Paragraph: Gogol's name change 1. The significance shows his resistance to his parents and their culture, and signals his attempted assimilation into American culture. E. Supporting Paragraph: Sonali's journey 1. The significance of her name in relation to her merging of Bengali and American culture, a lot more successfully than her brother is initially able to. D. Supporting Paragraph: Gogol's Dating 1. Romantic involvement illustrates his attempts at forming an identity. a. Maxine: represents assimilation to U.S. culture. b. Moushumi: represents acceptance of Bengali heritage. E. Supporting Paragraph: Gogol learns of his name's history 1. Doing so enables him to

More about The Struggle to be Bengali and American in Jhumpa Lahiri's 'The Namesake'

Open Document