Jhumpa Lahiri's Analysis

2063 Words9 Pages
In this sense, they have histories and like everything which is historical, they undergo a transformation. “Far from being eternally fixed in some essentialised past, they are subject to the continuous 'play' of history, culture and power” (225). Lahiri’s concentration is on the frustration between the future and past relates to the Hall’s ideas of being and becoming. Although immigrants have changed their identities, yet they are connected to their past lives. By changing their names or cultural roots they are still uncomfortable with their past. When they get comfortable with their so called new American identities their lives become messier, because at the same time they want to switch back to their Indian identities.
4.4.1 History Ashoke
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This question makes them confused and a bit worried. Ashima replies they have not selected it as yet. Patty informs them that after four days they have to discharge from hospital, and they are forced to give their baby a name before leaving the hospital. Mr. Wilcox a compiler of babies’ birth certificates in the hospital represents hegemonic culture. He orders them “they must choose a name for their son” (18). They are not allowed to leave hospital without keeping the name. The couple learns about American cultural power, that a baby cannot leave hospital “without a birth certificate” and also that “a birthday certificate needs a name” (18). Ashima tells Wilcox about the situation that she is waiting for her grandmother’s letter, who is going to select a name for the baby. Mr. Wilcox listens to the couple very carefully, but tries to impose his decision on them that they must select a name as soon as possible. He further makes them understand the laws and rules of America regarding new born babies’ names. The couple requests him for a nick name but he tells them if they leave the hospital after keeping a nick name, it can create a problem in future for them. “You will have to appear before a judge, pay a fee. The red tape is endless” (18). He makes the situation quite complex for the parents of a new born baby, when he suggests them to follow the American tradition of keeping the…show more content…
The immigrants of second generation think, if they want to live happy then they have to change their identities and the first generation immigrants think they need to get assimilated into American culture for the sake of better future of their children. Gogol feels a huge difference in the attitudes of Maxine’s parents. He loves the way Maxine’s mother serves food to him, she serves so many dishes to him. Gogol thinks his mother never severs any guest in this way. In Indian culture people force guests to eat more but in American culture this thing do not exists. Gogol never likes this and this thing makes him force to change his
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