The Namesake Final Paper

The Namesake Final - The Namesake Final Paper Bari Singer MW 11:15-12:30 Identity Through the journey of life people encounter many situations and

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The Namesake Final Paper Bari Singer MW 11:15-12:30 Identity Through the journey of life, people encounter many situations and therefore come to realizations that help shape who they are, where they are going in life and what their purpose in life is. As we follow the main character in The Namesake , Gogol, we gain insight of his growing maturity and respect for his family and the culture he was once embarrassed about. Specifically the name given to him at Birth. His identity and struggle of self-understanding are two things Gogol has yet to attach meaning to. As we follow Gogol’s life it is apparent he faces many struggles similar to others in respect to his initial eagerness to assimilate to American culture and later his resistance to full acceptance. In his mind, something as simple as his name is what prevents him from leading the life he wishes he could. After marriage, Gogol’s mother and father moved from India to the United States. In a place so foreign and far away to them, Ashima and Ashoke made a new life for themselves. The novel expresses their struggle and even success in providing the best life for themselves and their children in a new environment. Their dissatisfaction and refusal to completely conform to the mainstream American culture is very common among first generation immigrants, including the other Bengali families within a few miles of them. Their determination to keep cultural traditions, is what Gogol fails to understand and therefore respect. Growing up in Boston, in the 1970’s, he faces a battle that may have been very different had it been in the 2000’s. A battle that had no winner, but instead one
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that dealt with his identity. He expresses his desire to completely follow the only ways he sees, the American ways. He must realize that his name is not a punishment but rather something to be celebrated and cherished, but his parents fail to realize he is being brought up in a completely new environment where teachers, peers and even lovers have a huge impact on his future. A Nieve, young man, Gogol awaits the day he can legally change his name.
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This note was uploaded on 01/26/2011 for the course SOC-S 101 taught by Professor Everitt during the Fall '07 term at Indiana.

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The Namesake Final - The Namesake Final Paper Bari Singer MW 11:15-12:30 Identity Through the journey of life people encounter many situations and

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