Hamme 1 Auburn Hamme Dr. Luter Postmodern Fiction 23 September 2019 Fragmentation in The Namesake Juhmpa Lahiri’s The Namesake entails the story of an Indian family living and adjusting to the American lifestyle in Boston, Massachusetts. The main voice of the story comes from Gogol, a young Indian-American man conflicted with which culture he should embrace in his daily lifestyle. The genre of the novel, postmodern fiction, including literary texts pertaining to the mixing of ideas, fragmentation, re-use of past texts, and the decentering of established voices. Throughout the novel, fragmentation is apparent as many of the characters have fragmented identities. Each character struggles with whether to adapt American culture or to stay true to their Bengali roots. Throughout the novel, Lahiri portrays that the mixture and adaptation of cultures can be a positive, but confusing concept. Ashima and Ashoke Ganguli immigrate to the United States in the 1960’s following their arranged marriage. Although the two felt “ a continuous feeling of out of sorts” in their new world, the two still strived to find their place among society. While Ashoke does his best to embrace their new life, Ashima would much rather be back in India, “For the past eighteen months, ever since she’s arrived in Cambridge, nothing has felt normal at all (Lahiri 6). It seems as though Ashima believes that adapting American culture would be losing herself. Throughout the story, she thinks of her family and grandmother from India to remind herself not to betray her culture by “eat[ing] beef or wear[ing] skirts or forget[ing] her family” (Lahiri 37). Ashima feels that the life of a foreigner is a “perpetual wait, a constant burden” (Lahiri 49).
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- The Namesake, Nikolai Gogol