Essay on Analysis Of The Book ' The Namesake ' By Jhumpa Lahiri

1338 Words Apr 4th, 2016 6 Pages
There is a certain amount of time a person must spend by him or herself to attain adequate self-knowledge, but even then, they are constantly changing. To know and understand your past, including the past of your ancestors is important, but it does not dictate your future. Parshaw and Gogol are unsure of their complete pasts and therefore let it determine their present. They are both consistently on the verge of knowing who they are, while never quite reaching a full understanding of themselves. They balance on a tightrope between America and the country of their ethnicities (Iran and India, respectively). This purgatory is called diaspora and it is a common obstacle for millions of American-born people of other ethnicities. They can neither fit in with Americans nor return home to their roots. In California, it’s Iranians. In Florida, it’s Cubans and Russians. The author of The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri captures this idea in the fictional character Gogol/Nikhil Ganguli while the Iranian boy, Parshaw/Jonathan Dorriz exemplifies this idea in reality.
Both Parshaw and Gogol’s identity crises are determined by their names. “Parshaw has surprised me in so many ways”…religion has helped to make him a good kid…doesn’t drink, he doesn’t smoke, he doesn’t run after girls; he doesn’t cause her the same kind of anxiety as Parastoo…[who] loves to go to parties, and chafes at not being allowed to date until she’s eighteen. But Sholeh can understand Parastoo’s desires. Parshaw’s are more…

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