Literary Essay #1: The Namesake - A Clash Between Cultures When one person is an immigrant or is descended from immigrants culture identity can be

Literary Essay #1: The Namesake - A Clash Between Cultures...

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A Clash Between Cultures When one person is an immigrant or is descended from immigrants, culture identity can be difficult to preserve, especially when they’re dealing with two entirely different cultures, their own at home, and the American culture outside. Jhumpa Lahiri takes the cultural battle to the next level in her 2003 novel, The Namesake , where she not only provides a clear perspective to Gogol’s inner battle between the Bengali and the American culture, but also leaves us thinking as to what is in hold for his future. The main character of the novel, Gogol Ganguli grew up primarily in an Indian household, where his parents Ashima and Ashoke follow fairly typical Indian behavior that are dissimilar to what he has observed with American families, such as Gerald and Lydia. Throughout the novel he has struggled to discover the true meaning of his name, but could never until shortly before his father’s death. He received The Overcoat from his father as a child, but could never put together why his father named him after a Russian author. It is not until several years later during his senior year of college when his father shares with him his accident, which was the catalyst behind Gogol’s naming. Even after hearing the origin of his name, he does not truly understand the meaning behind it, and decides to legally change it to Nikhil. It’s not until his father’s death that he realized to receive any name other than
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