Analysis Of Thomas C. Foster 's ' The Namesake ' Essay

1384 Words Aug 10th, 2016 6 Pages
In Thomas C. Foster’s How to Read Literature like a Professor, Foster writes an entertaining guide of how to dig deeper into the metaphorical meaning of every piece of literature in hopes to inspire the minds of tomorrow not only to grow in their understanding of symbols but also to trust themselves and the knowledge they already have. In relation to Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, Foster lends understanding to such common symbols like sex not being at all about the actual act but representing the challenge of one to change what is culturally expected of him. Foster also highlights that while the main character is usually safe from harm, the people around him are the ones that may get hurt in fault of the main character. Foster overall warns of the author’s possible ironic use of a common symbol, as is carried out in The Namesake with flight and eating, that twists the reader expectations thus adding depth to the story. In The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri uses sex as a pathway for Gogol to attempt to break through the cultural rules places upon him by his family. Foster offers that sex is a “symbolic action claiming for the individual freedom from convention” in which Gogol has been held to his whole life (Foster 155). As Gogol recollects on his first sexual encounter he “recalled nothing from that episode [except] only being thankful” that he had done it (Lahiri 114). This shows that Gogol is not fully interested in the sexual act, but subconsciously in the act of rebelling…

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