Change And Change In The Namesake By Jhumpa Lahiri

712 Words 3 Pages
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri tells the story of a Bengali boy living his life and trying to understand the inner struggle he has with his namesake, while changing perspectives between the main character, Gogol and his mother. During the story, Gogol changes his legal name, effectively leaving his old self behind and replacing him with a new self, Nikhil. Although many may believe that Gogol does not go through jurassic change with this name change, in reality Gogol became an almost completely different person.

A simple change in name usually does not come as a huge shock for most people in our society, after all they are the same person. Chad Ochocinco was still Chad Johnson, just with a new and improved last name to signify his number,
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This sort of name change was different for Gogol though, and it happened without him even realizing. At the beginning of the story, when his parents ask the school to call him Nikhil but Gogol refuses, he states that, “He is afraid to be Nikhil, someone he doesn't know. Who doesn't know him”(56). Why would he not know him if he is the name person? That is a perfectly logical question, and the answer is exactly as one might think. He would know him if Gogol and Nikhil were the same person, which is exactly how we know they are different. If they were the same then there would be no problem and Gogol would not be afraid, but since he is, and his reasoning for being afraid is that he does not know Nikhil, the reader can conclude that Nikhil is in fact a different person. Although this name change fails, he does decide to become Nikhil shortly after high school. He goes to the courthouse and legally changes his first name from Gogol to Nikhil. He was so excited about this change, metaphorically dumping his old self, that he just has to tell everyone about it. Gogol even says on his way home from the courthouse, “‘I'm Nikhil,’ he wants to tell the people who are …show more content…
He wants to go and introduce himself to everyone because Nikhil does not know anyone yet. He has to go out and start making a name for himself and having some experiences. He goes off to college and has all of the records changed in their system to wipe Gogol off of everything and replace it with Nikhil, his new self. After this point, readers start to see the real proof that Nikhil and Gogol are completely different people. She. He is in college at Yale, the unnamed narrator says, “It is as Nikhil...that starts smoking Camel Lights at parties...It is as Nikhil that...gets himself a fake ID...It is as Nikhil that he loses his virginity at a party” (105). This would have been very concerning behavior from Gogol, he would have never started smoking cigarettes and buying fake ID’s

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