Identity Crisis In Jhumpalahiri's The Namesake

JhumpaLahiri faithfully depicted identity crisis of the first and second generation expatriates in her first novel The Namesake. This crisis is dealt through immigrant’s families and their internal and socio-cultural relations with the people of the foreign country. It deals with the cultural identity crisis which is faced by both the generation of the immigrants. In the case of the first generation, the immigrants face dilemma, consciousness of being an outsider and cultural identity crisis due to the language, dressing essence and food habits. But the second generation immigrants they mainly face the crisis in relation to the personality, identity and adjustment in an alien land.This paper is a modest attempt to analyse the identity crisis, …show more content…
The identity crisis in this novel is indeed emphasized in the title, the Namesake. Changing name here is quite important for Gogol in seeking his true identity, since name symbolizes how he sees himself and how he wants to be seen by others. Later, Gogol changes his name to Nikhil, since he feels it reflects his dual identity, both being Indian and also American, better. Nikhil is indeed a Bengali name but it can also be shortened to an American nickname, Nick. Therefore, it is a hybrid name in which it will be easier for him to deal better with his dual …show more content…
The conditions of immigrants in the host country are usually due to cultural misunderstanding and loneliness. The cultural identity crisis is faced by generations of immigrants due to language, food habits, dress code and personal identity. In Gogol’s case it is due to his name. The feeling of nostalgia, loneliness and homelessness is also divided systematically. In Ashima’s case it is due to migration. Gogol and Moushmi face it due to cultural hybridity. Ashoke and Ghosh are permanently dislocated from the world. They leave all homes behind and reach the other world [5].
The Namesake is a novel about the search for an identity set in the backdrop of Kolkata and the US. In a lifetime, we comes across several identities: an identity we are born into , by default, at birth; identities forged from a scratch in foreign lands and identity that we want for ourselves. And when so many choices are offered to us, defining who we really are becomes a crisis in itself. Caught in such a web of identity crisis is AshokeGanguli’s son, Gogol, named in haste after Ashoke’s favourite author Nikolai

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