Indian Identity In William Lahiri's Novel 'The Namesake'

1305 Words6 Pages
Within Lahiri’s Novel ‘The Namesake’, the protagonist, Gogol lives an Americanised lifestyle where he becomes accustomed to understanding their culture. Both Gogol’s parents, Ashoke and Ashima, are reserved, traditional Indian citizens who abide closely by Indian traditions. The novel follows Gogol’s struggle in classifying his identity and belonging. Particularly within this extract, Gogol is revealed to be deliberately oppositional toward his parents as his emotions of isolation arise from his inability to relate to them. He feels indifferent toward his Indian heritage and persistently self depreciates himself for being apart of a migrant family who form a Bengali community purely based on the fact they share common backgrounds. Gogol wishes…show more content…
He “slouches” in his seat which connotes a sense or boredom and suggests he wishes to avoid all association with the panel of presenters despite one of them being his cousin. The relative however is described to be a “distant cousin” which links to the idea that Indian families tend to be very complex in terms of size and vastness. The adjective “distant” reflects Gogol’s perspective of his family. He lacks the desire to be closely acquainted with the individual, implying his desperation to pull himself away from intimate relations within his family. Later, when Gogol accompanies Amit for a drink, he avoids his question “Gogol why aren 't you a member of the Indian association here?” by devising the excuse “I just don’t have the time.” Gogol therefore purposely avoids investing himself into becoming a belonging member of an Indian community. This idea is further evidenced later in the novel when Gogol repeatedly buries himself in Maxine 's family life as a technique to dismiss his own. He describes existing in "her world" as a

More about Indian Identity In William Lahiri's Novel 'The Namesake'

Open Document