Confusion In Gogol's Life Story

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Confusion. Distress. Frustration. All of these feelings were present and prevalent throughout Gogol’s life story as he had a difficult time identifying himself due to conflicting cultures. This is best represented by the people he chooses to maintain relationships with and his actions within the relationships with those closest to him. His parents, specifically his mother, are more in touch with the Bengali culture and want him to be as well, while his American friends want him to be more in touch with the American culture. Accordingly, his reaction to these relationships and their expectations shows his confusion regarding his identity. By ending the relationship with the woman who was enforcing an American culture, he was showing a new affinity…show more content…
Their relationship continues for a considerable amount of time and he slowly grows accustomed to living the way that Maxine and her parents live. Maxine has a great influence over Gogol during this time, her wants and needs are a first priority to him during this time in his life. He wants to feel accepted by the people of the country he grew up in, Maxine is one of those people he so desperately needs acceptance from. This fact proves that he feels self-conscious in regards to his identity, specifically in terms of his cultural identity. He learns from Maxine and his new home surroundings to be fully immersed in the American way of life in order to have that feeling of acceptance. As he is assimilating to fully accepting American culture he is (quote about being surprised) by some of the things he experiences and witnesses for the first time, such as Maxine’s parents being affectionate in public and in front of him. Gogol spends an increasing amount of time in Maxine’s house and soon earns himself a key to the front door. By spending large amounts of time in the Ratliff household and being surrounded by the actions of Maxine and her parents, Gogol feels the acceptance he was searching for but he never quite feels as if he belongs in that world. Almost everything is different than what he grew up learning, this is a whole new…show more content…
It starts off as a simple, reluctant phone call, but rapidly progresses into a blooming relationship soon after meeting. Moushumi, his new love interest and (a would-be sophisticate who wants to be French), generally retains the same cultural history as Gogol, this fact helps them bond quickly. However, she has a rocky history with a recent relationship, she was in an engagement that ended abruptly with hard feelings. The reason for their separation relates to differentiating cultures, therefore enforcing the theme of confusion involving self-identity. Moushumi’s Fiancé did not understand or appreciate her culture and during a drunken spat late one night the relationship ended, she then proceeded to swallow many pills in a suicide attempt. Moushumi is a very unstable individual who cannot provide Gogol with the reassurance he is looking for. Despite that the relationship between Moushumi and Gogol moves quickly, they are married after one year, and everything is well. Gogol thinks he finally has found someone who understands the struggle of having Bengali parents living in America. This gives him a false sense of security and only contributes to his confusion. Moshumi lived in Paris for a certain extent of time and that is where she feels that she belongs, that is where she feels at home. Moushumi’s experience is different than Gogol’s cultural
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