Essay 3: The Novel

小说论文代写 The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri centers on two generations of the Gangulis family, who have immigrated from India to…

Explain how the relationships between members of different generations relate to larger ideas in The Namesake.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri centers on two generations of the Gangulis family, who have immigrated from India to the United States. Identity, generation gap, and cultural differences are the main themes of the novel. The novel begins in 1968 when Ashima Ganguli and Ashoke Ganguli are expecting a child. The story sets in America where the main characters of the story move across different states. Ashoke studied Electrical engineering at MIT and then started his career as a professor of electrical engineering. Their first child is a boy whose nickname is Gogol after Nikolai Gogol; a Russian writer. Gogol is Ashoke’s favorite writer and saved his life in a train accident many years ago at Calcutta. Throughout the story, we see the life journey of the Ganguli family. The way they experience the ups and downs of life in a foreign country.

How they cope with the loss of their loved ones who were living in their hometown Calcutta. What drawback did they experience living abroad? We also see up to what extent they and their children experienced identity crises and cultural differences. The novel primarily focuses on Gongol and his father Ashoke and the difference between their life experience as they both belong to different generations. And how Gongol and Sonia (Gongol’s sister) are different from their parents Ashima and Ashoke. In the novel, the relationships between generations are depicted in the form of father-son and mother-son relationships. Gogol did not have a close relationship with his parents once he got engaged in this own life, searching for his own identity and experiencing a cultural difference.

The title of the novel “The Namesake” itself suggests that the novel is about identities. 小说论文代写

Since childhood we see Gogol confused about his identity due to his nickname Gogol. He feels a kind of estrangement with his real name Nikhil until he goes to college where he officially changes his name to Nikhil. We see how Gogol tried different identities at different stages of life going from relationship to relationship, experiencing different colors of life. The way Gogol experienced life in a foreign country as a member of an Indian family is different than the way his father Ashoke experienced life abroad as an immigrant. This is one of the key differences between the two generations. Ashoke never felt identity crises in his life after moving to the United States the reason is because he was the first generation who moved to a foreign land as an immigrant. Gogol on the other hand was born in the US. He studied in American schools, made American friends but at home, he had a starkly different culture.

Being a member of the Bengali family he was aware of his traditions and cultural values. However, moving into an American society made him distant from his parents and his culture. As he grew old, he started feeling a sort of perplexity in terms of his identity. He did not know whether he is Gogol or a Nikhil. It took a significant period of his life to understand who he really is and until that time he gone through the ups and downs life and also lost his father.

Gogol remained close to his mother Ashima only when he was a toddler and was completely dependent on his mother. 小说论文代写

His mother used to take him to errands and for a walk in the suburbs. As he grew old and started going to kindergarten his closeness to his mother started fading away. Ashima started missing Gogol. Over time, Gogol’s closeness and dependence on Ashima turned into independence. He moved on in his life made new friends and started exploring life. After entering college he decided to change his name to Nikhil. But in school his parents told his assert his official name as Nikhil, they also talked to the principal of the school but Gogol insisted to keep his name as Gogol instead of Nikhil. This also shows a difference of opinion between the two generations. He changed his name to Nikhil in college discovering an aspect of his identity without consulting his parents. Gogol remained completely independent in his decisions.

We also see a communication gap between Gogol and his parents. On his fourteenth birthday, Ashoke decided to gift Gogol a book of short stories by Nikolai Gogol which Gogol did not think much about and placed in his cupboard. Ashoke at that point also wanted to share his life incident with his son but after discerning his disinterest he decided not to tell him as he was immature to comprehend the incident. Gogol read the book given by his father after Ashoke’s death. It was when he read the book and realized he couldn’t understand his father when he was alive.


At one point in the novel, we see Gogol started living with his girlfriend Maxine Ratliff’s family.

Despite perceiving the difference between the families, he was admired by the Ratliff family and moved in with them. Here we see Gogol grew more distant from his family and started seeing them seldom. One day Ashima called him and told him to see his father as it has been a long time since they have seen each other. Gogol could not go to see his father due to his own busy life and different priorities. He got the news of his father’s death when he was living with the Ratliff family. Ashoke’s death shocked everyone in Ganguli’s family. This is when Gogol becomes distant from Maxine and broke up with her and started dating Moushumi whom his mother introduced him to.

We see even after divorcing Moushumi he never lived with his mother though he started seeing them more often in Boston. Gogol did not really grow closer to his mother and father. He remained engaged in different stages of his life, he explored his life, searched for his identity and experienced different relationships without the guidance of his own. After Ashoke’s death, Ashima started spending half of the year in Calcutta to keep herself close to her relatives. But Gogol did not follow her mother are tried to revive the childhood bond he used to have with his mother. Thus, the relationship between the two generations kept on getting aloof over time (Lahiri).

Work Cited 小说论文代写

Lahiri, Jhumpa . The Namesake. 2003.