The Namesake Film Analysis

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Few films capture the essence of being an outsider in a foreign nation, namely and Indian in the United States of America, and one of these films happen to be Mira Nair’s The Namesake. Based on the titular book by Jhumpa Lahiri, the story focuses on the difficulties of a Bengali family after migrating to America, and the conflicts their son faces throughout his life after receiving an uncommon name, Gogol, at birth. Despite having such a simple premise, The Namesake shows the significance a name holds in both Indian and foreign, specifically American societies, and the varying impacts it has on both communities. Unlike names in American culture, names in India hold great importance since they are not just a verbal affiliation, but also a description of a person’s …show more content…
As shown in The Namesake, Indian families tend to have to names, and private nick name that they use among themselves, and a public good name, which they use as their legal name that they publically associate with. Both names hold great significance in regards to their holder. The nick name, since it develops over time as the child grows, mostly relates to the person’s character and personality. For example, a person who holds a small stature, or a tendency to be shy and cute, gains the name “Chotu” or “Choti”, depending on the whether the person is a boy or girl, respectively. Both words connotatively relate directly to the word tiny, or small. Therefore, the person is either physically tiny, or has a small personality. Good names differ from nick names by being more complicated and formal, and most often, they are also related to the cast the person comes from. In Hinduism, a person’s last name is related to which caste their family is in. Therefore, a person’s standing can increases or decrease in society’s eye by being based solely on their last names. Unfortunately, this often causes instant hate

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