Gogol : A Cultural Identity Crisis Essay

1085 Words May 9th, 2016 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, Gogol is already refusing to "confront his destiny (Lahiri 40)." In the traditional Indian ritual called the rice ceremony, or also known as the annaprashan in Hindu. The rice ceremony is a ritual considered central to Hinduism where young boys and girls are given several objects such as money, a pen, a book, and a clump of soil. Each objects are supposed to indicate his or her path of life. The money represents wealth, the pen suggests success in business, the book academia, and the soil symbolizes property ownership. During Gogol 's ceremony, he turns away from the objects, "frowns, and his lower lip trembles and he begins to cry (Lahiri 40)." Even at such an early stage, Gogol is uncertain about his future path and so clearly…

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