Belonging Namesake Essay

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BELONGING The concept of Belonging is a multi-layered concept, particularly in the novel "The Namesake" by Jhumpa Lahiri, the news article "Burqas and Fries" by Erika Hayasaki and the play "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare. A person's sense of belonging is determined by the relationships they share with themselves and other people. Whether it's family, friends or society in general, humans have a desire to belong and be an important part of something greater than themselves. The ideology that one must belong to oneself before they can belong anywhere else, justifies this complexity of someone's Identity and the Relationships they share. These two concepts both encapsulate the notion of Belonging being a multi-layered concept and are fostered into each of the composer's texts coherently. In the novel "The Namesake", Lahiri conveys the concept of belonging and identity through the characterisation of Gogol (the main protagonist of the story) and the symbolic nature of his name. Contrasting Gogol's adult life to his adolescence, his sense of belonging is never as natural, innocent or playful. Gogol has to work towards achieving a feeling of belonging and to understand himself as a person. Torn between his Bengali and American culture because of his name, his struggle with his cultural identity causes him to gain a sense of alienation. In the event where Gogol attends an ABCD meeting, Lahiri uses the symbol of his name in the quote "Living with a pet name and a good name, in a place where such distinctions do not exist - surely that was emblematic of the greatest confusion of all" to express the microcosm of his world and then later on harnesses the simile "Feeling as if an errata slip were perpetually pinned to his chest" in connection with his new name to represent the rejection of his new found sense of belonging. Furthermore, the quote, "...there's a
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