The Namesake Essay

689 Words3 Pages
The Namesake Relationships can teach a person more about themselves, and who they are. In The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, she shows how Gogol suffers an identity crisis, but throughout his romantic relationships he learns to accept his background. Gogol’s three girlfriends Ruth, Maxine, and Moushumi, all teach Gogol a lesson and help him discover how he feels about his Bengali culture. Gogol had never been the kid to have many girlfriends, but at a college party one night, Gogol met an American girl named Ruth, and they immediately grew fond of each other. Ruth was Gogol’s first serious relationship, but she was not what Gogol’s parents approved of. Ruth’s parents were divorced, which was unthinkable in the Bengali culture. Lahiri explains, “But such a trip would require telling his parents about Ruth, something he has no desire to do. He has no patience for their surprise, their nervousness, their quiet disappointment, and their questions about what Ruth’s parents did and whether or not the relationship was serious. As much as he longs to see her he cannot picture her at the kitchen table on Pemberton road, in her jeans and her bulky sweater, politely eating his mother’s food. He cannot imagine being with her in the house where he is still Gogol” (115). This quote shows that Gogol is attracted to the girls he cannot have. He is rebellious, and likes Ruth for being different than what his parents expect. Ruth gives Gogol an idea of what “type” of girls he likes, who are born and raised in the American culture. Gogol liked having some experience with being pure American. At this point of the story, Gogol felt more like he wanted to date girls that were in the American culture, so when he and Ruth’s relationship relationship ended, he went even more extreme. On Gogol’s train ride home for spring break he met a girl named Maxine. When they started dating Gogol
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