The Namesake Essay

Jhumpa Lahiri. a profound author of coevals today unfolds an huge view of complexnesss endured by immigrants in the foreign lands in her most abiding work of fiction. The Namesake. It’s all approximately younger coevals of today. who are invariably happening themselves caught between the appendage of their cultural and traditional roots and the push of their ain psyche towards the outer universe of American dreams.

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It is a narrative embossed in the elaboratenesss of the Indian households who in the enticement of green grazing lands land in foreign lands. But there they ever find themselves bound in their ain faith. civilization and household traditions and their kids find themselves entangled between their ain civilization and the American civilization of freedom and pick. As a alien. Ashima thinks. “is a kind of womb-to-tomb gestation — a ageless delay. a changeless load. a uninterrupted experiencing out of kinds.

” ( 49 ) And further she says. “It is an on-going duty. a parenthesis in what has one time been ordinary life. merely to detect that that old life has vanished. replaced by something more complicated and demanding. ” ( 49 ) Her boy Gogol. around whom whole narrative revolves besides feels like an foreigner. As a young person. he is seeking to estrange himself from his ain civilization and tradition but deep within. he is happening himself anomic and detached. In this reappraisal. I will concentrate on how Jhumpa Lahiri cultivates the emotions that carry Gogol along with him all through his life because of his name.

It is his name that gives him his individuality and it is because of this name. he finds himself fighting in the foreign land-so its all for the Namesake that eventually enables Gogol to make a balance between the two universes. The whole book appears to originate from the name and that excessively from one name Gogol. which was taken from the Great Russian author Nikolai Gogol. Gogol finds his life intrigued in the circle of his name. First his male parent gave him name ‘Gogol’ as a replacement of the name that ought to hold arrived from their traditional place town but that did non arrive.

The chief ground behind the novel to be named as The Namesake. is owing to the name of the chief character. Gogol. who was profoundly obsessed with his name and like Jhumpa. Gogol ne’er wanted to give up his traditional name when he was at the school traveling age but had to give up his name and follow another name “Nikhil” . From really get downing of the narrative merely. we are shown how the name and individuality of individuals is so of import for the Indian households particularly in the households of Bengalis.

In the traditional Bengali household. married woman can non take the name of her hubby as it is against the civilization and moralss of a typical and traditional Bengali married woman. As Ashima herself said. “It’s non the type of thing Bengali wives do – a husband’s name is something confidant and hence mute. smartly patched over” ( 2 ) . This clearly shows how of import are the traditions. private life and feelings for the Bengali household. He feels scared to travel back to his household and civilization where he is called Gogol.

At college it was really easy for Gogol to populate like Nikhil. and he merrily spends his life like this for many old ages to come. He developed passionate relationship with Ruth but so besides he ne’er disclosed his interior battle between his two names with Ruth. He ne’er introduced Ruth to his household and conceal her from others excessively and when his relationship broke with Ruth. his bosom broke and he finds himself hidden more behind his name Nikhil. which he thinks. is a merchandise of American civilization.

In his college life. he once more tried to come in into the relationship with another miss named Maxine with whom he entered into the American household and hence into the American manner of life. He spends some minutes of his life in a really unworried ambiance into that American manner of life but this was non everlasting. He wanted her to be portion of his life but when clip comes Maxine fails to understand Gogol’s feelings and committednesss towards his household and this deficiency of understanding interruptions them apart.

This incident eventually makes him travel back from where he came- once more into the psyche of his ain roots by retaining his original name Gogol. Back into the household. he once more is faced in a state of affairs of quandary and when Mexine told him. “Do you want to seek to travel up to New Hampshire? …It might make you good to acquire off from this. ” His immediate answer was no. “I don’t want to acquire away” ( 182 ) . It was his concluding relationship with Moushumi that makes him to alter the whole perceptual experience of life. He realized satisfaction does non come by running off from any civilization but by intermixing of two civilizations in day-to-day lives.

He realized that he was born to embroider into his life both civilizations and in this lone. put his felicity. Against the background. the name of Russian author Nikolai Gogol has the most of import function to play in the whole narrative. It was the short narratives of Nikolai Gogol that had saved the life of Ashoke in the 1961 wreck of the Howrah-Ranchi train. After that Ashoke married and went to America where they had a boy and when they did non have the name to be given to the kid from his expansive female parent. the name that came out of Ashoke’s oral cavity was Gogol.

When high school teacher assigned him prep on The Overcoat. Gogol entered his category with “growing apprehension and a feeling of little nausea” ( 89 ) because he discovered in the narrative that the name Gogol is depressive and he thought that his parents have betrayed him. And after that his whole life is spent on detesting his name because he is happening his name really amusing and unusual. And when he wants to alter his name. he loathes that no 1 takes him earnestly and complains to his male parent who answers his inquiry with a tone of sympathetic yet disregarding touch by inquiring who does non take him earnestly.

He is non able to recognize that he is himself merely who does non take life earnestly and merely like his name. he begins to hate himself and is non able to convey out his potencies and in the quest to cognize himself develops an lower status composite. When Gogol is told by his male parent that we had all come out of Gogol’s ‘Overcoat’ . Gogol does non understand the significance of the word and because of his name. he is non at all interested in Russians. But when in the terminal he is told the true ground about his acquiring the name and from the calamity. his male parent came back alive. he gets more baffled.

Though at that clip he could visualise the calamity. but non the miracle about the deliverance of his male parent due to Overcoat. For him. Greatcoat is still the calamity but at the terminal of the twenty-four hours when he finally reads the book of short narratives by Nikolai Gogol and reads ‘The Overcoat’ . Gogol once more like his male parent is now ready to come out of the ‘Overcoat’ . in other words he eventually is able to emerge out of all the battles that he was happening himself within him.

The “Namesake” can besides be called as a narrative of feeling of guilt and freedom- freedom from the clasps of traditions of household and on the other manus battle of supporter within himself. After Ashoke landed in America. they still followed their ain Indian manner and forms in their place. They have all. “Their garage. like every other. contains shovels and sniping shears and a sled. ” ( 64 ) and they have besides purchased a barbeque for tandoori on the porch in summer.

Each and every family point in their house had been bought by the audience of their Bengali friends. For illustration they would inquire about the difference between a fictile profligate and a metal one and would inquire which 1 would be preferred. a existent Christmas tree or an unreal tree. They would observe Thanksgiving but learn to roast Meleagris gallopavos. albeit rubbed with garlic and Cuminum cyminum and chili pepper. and even to set a nail to their door. to wrap woollen scarves around snow work forces. the manner to colourise boiled eggs violet and pink at Easter and how to conceal them around the house.

Their freshly made Bengali friends would frequently mob their house and the household would fix a approximative favourite Calcutta bite by blending Rice Krispies. Planters peanuts and onions. Ashima would maintain all the reference books. which contain the names of all his Bengali friends known to them all these old ages. All in all. despite of being in the foreign land. they were still Indian and typical Bengali from their bosom and when Gogol Born and brought up in this household of course has in his blood. these traditional values.

But when he faced the American society. he made himself wholly absorbed in American society. basking life with girl friends and making everything that an American immature cat does. But what the job is still their visual aspect is different. their manner of speaking is different and their household life is different and the manner they incorporate themselves in the American domain and civilization is a affair to give them recognition but is a affair of black being for their household. And if they go back to their place. they still find themselves alienated at that place.

They are unable to set their ain Indian manner of life. immense household. and over and above hinderances in their freedom. Their house at Pemberton Road is rather similar to other houses and kids takes Bologna and joint beef sandwiches to school yet the whole household has ne’er felt at place in America. With her enchanting narrative shows. Lahiri inserts the two characters in one psyche. one character of Gogol and another of Nikhil. one strictly Indian and one purely American and from it emerges Nikolai Gogol. who eventually emerged out of this quandary.

Again subjects of maternity and domestic life that is so interlacing and became a portion of Gogol’s intricate battles is truly a work of adult females. who understands all the jobs. She while mentioning all the pros and consequencies of landing in the foreign land off from place and fireplace. Lahiri besides raised the importance of following both civilizations. Namesake is a narrative of Jhumpa herself. Jhumpa who herself went into the foreigner land and herself felt the same experience as experienced by Gogol Nikhil.

She says for kids it is really hard to adujst to the new land and happen themselves ever fighting between the traditions that their household members expect them to follow. But they have to pass maximal sum of clip outside to analyze. and realize their dreams and they find themselves dejected at that place if remain stuck to their ain traditional ways therefore they have to follow their ways and finally loose one’s ain individuality.

But when adulthood comes. they realize that it is merely to their roots they owe their lives excessively and it is to the roots they have their individuality and ego regard. The demand of the hr is to do both the civilizations portion of your lives. There is no uncertainty about the fact that Jhumpa Pierces inside the Bengali household and throws visible radiation on the power of the names and outlooks which are portion of our lives bestowed to us by our parents. and besides easy and distressingly we are able to really specify ourselves our ain individuality.

This is what Gogol did in the terminal and this what all immigrants in the American land make and ought to make to make an kernel of integrity between the two civilizations. as co-joined twins and non as parallel roads. and finally they would be able to come out of Gogol’s greatcoat.

REFERENCE LIST Lahiri. Jhumpa. “The Namesake” . New York. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 2003.