Jhumpa Lahiri The Namesake Character Analysis

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CROSS CULTURAL CONFLICTS IN JHUMPA LAHIRI`S THE NAMESAKE A. Tara Lakshmi Lecturer in English Govt., Degree College NAIDUPET S.P.S.R Nellore (Dt.)

Abstract: The objective of this paper is to bring forth the excellence of the author Jhumpa Lahiri, a Pulitzer Prize winner,
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Her first novel The Namesake (2003), a major national bestseller, was named New York magazine book of the year. She searches deep in her characters and reveals their problems in an elaborate manner much to the amazement of the women. She stresses that migrations across nations lead to negotiation between cultures which finally paves the way for cultural hybridism and hyphenated identity. Most importantly the identity of the individual, which is constantly affected by the society, is a thing that has to be discovered by the process of reflections and negotiations. Here is a clear message to the third world people who wish to enter the first world without knowing that the displacement demands greater…show more content…
One of the main characters, Ashima faces cultural traumatic experiences on many occasions. One of the problems she faces in naming of her first born child whom they call Gogol in the beginning. Naming is inevitable for the couple Ashoka and Ashima for the new born baby to be discharged from the hospital. Ashoke names the child after the Russian writer Nikolai Gogol as he is his favourite writer. Ashima too approves this because the name stands both for her son’s life as well as her husband’s. When the boy is taken to kindergarten with the good name “Nikhil”, Gogol decides to prefer his pet name by conveniently writing it in the registration form while filling it. “Ashoka and Ashima are shocked. What about the parent`s preference? Ashima and Ashok wonder, shaking their heads. But since neither of them feels comfortable pressing the issue, they have no choice but to give in”. ( Namesake 60) The irony here is that, having been born to Indians and that too to Bengali parents; Gogol has to retain a Russian name in America. Secondly he is neither Indian nor American but Russian named after the Russian author who happens to be his father’s favourite writer. The issue of his identity with his confusing name becomes even tougher when he attains youth. Continuously he suffers the problem of his name in his multi-cultural

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