There are several scene that display culture clash between America and Bengali. One of them is when Ashima finish giving birth to her son, they are told that they are not allowed to leave until they give a name to their son. The American culture is so different with their own one as in Bengali’s culture, new born are given a pet name used in family and a good name used for public. Some of the children even do not have a name until they are six years old. Besides, Bengali children are often given name by the elders to show their respect. As for Ashoke and Ashima, while they are waiting for their grandmother to give a name to their son, they are forced to give their son a name in a hurry and plan to change the name later in order to leave the hospital and this is how Gogol gets his name. However, I think that Ashoke and Ashima make a correct decision in this scene. No doubt reserving and practicing one’s own culture is important, however we need to make some adjustment especially when we are in different places with people that practice different culture. For Ashoke and Ashima, they choose to follow the American culture first by giving the name Gogol and change it later.
2. What is the significance of Gogol’s name? How does it relate to cultural heritage?
The name Gogol is significant for several reasons. It comes from the name of the Russian author, Nikolai Gogol. For Ashoke, Nikolai Gogol is not only his favourite author but also in his mind Nikolai Gogol saves his life.