100%(1)1 out of 1 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 4 pages.
Jessie Law9/17/18Mrs. BaileyEnglish class Word Count: 1136What is in a Name?Do our names define us? St. Jerome once said that action without a name, a who attachedto it, is meaningless. This is certainly the case for the protagonist, who goes through life without having a name he feels secure with. In Lahiri’s The Namesake, the protagonist of the story struggles with his given name, Gogol. This theme is woven throughout the story and is symbolic of his identity crisis as a first-generation, Indian-American. The title The Namesakeis a brief yet strong depiction of the book’s main theme of struggling with a name as we follow the main character, Gogol, through his journey to find a name he can accept while finding his place in the world.Although the title of The Namesakeseems at first to relate directly to the story of Ashoke,Gogol’s father, who almost loses his life on a train from Calcutta to Jamshedpur at the beginning of the book, it instead relates to Gogol’s struggle to find his identity. As Ashoke is in a deep discussion with a fellow passenger, the train comes to a terrifying halt, and he gets pinned under the car when it flips over. Because he could not move or shout, Ashoke uses a page from his book, written by Russian author Nikolai Gogol, to get the rescuers to notice and subsequently save him. Then, years later, after emigrating to the U.S., Ashoke gives his baby boy the pet name (an Indian tradition) of Gogol, the name of the author of his life-saving book. After Ashima gives
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 4 pages?
The Namesake, Personal name, Family name, Given name, Nikolai Gogol, surname