Cultural Identity Crisis In The Namesake By Jhumpa Lahiri

1085 Words 5 Pages
Born in America of immigrant parents, Gogol wants to completely be in the American culture. He has a conflict with his Indian culture because of the traditions from his culture and the trips to Calcutta. Unfortunately, all the events that relate to his Indian culture do not help with his cultural identity. His parents hope that he would continue their Bengali heritage by keeping their practices alive and marrying a Bengali, however Gogol is reluctant to do so. Gogol changes his name, but he still feels as if he is truly not who he should be. In The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, Gogol experiences a cultural identity crisis, which is displayed in his lifestyle and personality. Early in Gogol 's life, he has an identity crisis. At six months, …show more content…
Throughout his life Gogol is frustrated with his family for giving him the name Gogol. But ultimately, he becomes fully aware that his name symbolizes his family rather than the barriers keeping him apart from the rest of the society. Gogol experienced a lot of changes, as a second generation American immigrant. Gogol has been adjusted to different cultures than he ethnically is. At the end, through family, he has come back to his roots. Gogol was not given an Indian name from his Indian family or an American name as he was born in America, to emphasize an individual trying to assimilate into a different culture, but in the end, he is still bonded to his roots as the person he ethnically is. Gogol does not accept his name until his father 's death. "He knows now the guilt that his parents carried inside (Lahiri 179)" and he feels ashamed for what he has done. “Without people in the world to call him Gogol, Gogol Ganguli will vanish from the lips of loved ones (Lahiri 289).” By the end of the novel, the idea that there might be a time where no family members will be around to call him by his pet name saddens him. It seems as if he likes his name more than he realized, not of where the name originated and how it sounds, but because of who calls him

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