The Namesake Essay

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To Be or Not To Be? The enduring truth revealed in The Namesake is to accept your identity and be thankful for loving parents. Throughout the novel, Gogol Ganguli struggles to define himself in the contexts of family and two diverse cultures. Gogol is from an Indian Bengali family, which the reader gets the pleasure of knowing since his birth. It is seen that beginning from his childhood, all Gogol ever wanted was to find a place where he could truly fit in, whether it be in his own culture, or in the American one in which he lives. Through his relationships he explores his identity, both personal and cultural. By slowly learning about himself and by accepting who he truly is through his life experiences, we see Gogol’s sense of self, family, and relationships shift throughout the novel. The author of The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri, is also someone who can relate to being born into two different cultures. Her parents immigrated to the United States from Calcutta, India and she was born in London, England in 1967. She was then raised in Rhode Island where her father worked as a librarian and her mother as a teacher. Lahiri received a B.A in English Literature at Barnard College, and later received her M.A in English, Creative writing, and Comparative Studies in Literature and the Arts, as well as a Ph.D in Renaissance Studies from Boston University. During her six years at Boston University, Lahiri worked on short stories, nine of which were collected in her debut book, Interpreter of Maladies, published in 1999. The stories are about problems in the lives of Indians or Indian immigrants, with themes such as difficulties in marriage, and the gap between first and second generation United States immigrants. Lahiri later wrote, "When I first started writing I was not conscious that my subject was the Indian-American experience.What drew me to my craft was the
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