Summary Of The Namesake By Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri’s “The Namesake” (2003) is a cross-cultural, ultigenerational story of a Hindu Bengali family’s journey to self-acceptance in Boston. ‘The Namesake’ explores the theme of transnational identity and trauma of cultural dislocation. The novel is a narrative about the assimilation of an Indian Bengali Family from Calcutta, the Ganguli’s, into America. The cultural dilemmas experience by them and their American born children are quite different. The spatial, cultural and emotional dislocations suffered by Ashoke and Ashima in their effort to settle “home” in the new land are contradistinctive to the miseries of Gogol, Moushumi and Sonia. “Quest for Identity” or “Roots” marks the Diasporic fiction. While major concerns of the most …show more content…
So the feelings which are experience by Ashok and Ashima are different than those of Gogol and Sonia. The time span of two generations seems to be about thirty years. In this time span they face different problems, trying to adjust themselves in two cultures. Ashima gives birth to a child who is named Gogol, which is the name of the famous Russian writer, Nikolai Gogol. The child is brought up in a land which is not the country of his origin. Hence in this sense, he is neither American nor an Indian. So whenever he comes to Calcutta, he did not feel at home here. As Lahiri says: “They all come home to Calcutta and for this reason alone they are all friends. Most of them live within walking distance of one another in Cambridge.” (38). This is a very fine example of experiences of immigrant families who suffers from nostalgia, sense of loss, loneliness, rootlessness and identity crisis. While the themes of nostalgia, culture shock and unsettling are addressed through the characters Ashima and Ashoke, the themes of identity crisis and culture stereotyping are addressed through the experiences of Gogol and Moushumi. This constant struggle for finding out the identity is beautifully portrayed in the novel, as first generation immigrants and their children struggle to find their …show more content…
According to Sigmund Freud,“Mourning is regularly the reaction to the loss of a loved person, or the loss of some abstraction which has taken place such as one’s country, liberty, and ideal and so on. As an effect of the same influences, melancholy instead of a state of grief develops in some people, whom we consequently suspect of a morbid pathological disposition. It is also well worth noticed that, although grief involves grave departures from the normal attitude of life, it never occurs to us to regard it as a morbid condition and hand the mourning over to medical treatment.” Freud thinks that mourning involves departure from the normal attitude to life but it is never a pathological condition. It doesn’t need any treatment. It can overcome after a certain lapse of time. Melancholy is also the reaction to the loss of a loved object. but it is a kind of “morbid, pathological disposition”,causing the dysfunction of mind and body. In mourning it is the world which becomes poor and empty; in melancholy it is the ego itself that becomes empty. In the novella “Hema and Kaushik”, both Hema and Kaushik suffer from trauma because of their rootlessness. But for Hema, the suffering is only mourning because she can have a negotiation with her past; but for Kaushik he can’t work through his loss in the past so he becomes a person who always lives in the melancholy situation and dies at last. The story recounts their initiation from young

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