Name And Identity In Gogol's The Namesake

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The Namesake is the story of Gogal, a Bengali boy who is named on an impulse after the Russian writer Nikolai which Gogol adds more vagueness to his already confused South Asian identity, hybridity, and state of in-between of the South Asian community brought to the fore. In Bengali culture, it is traditional to have two names, a “good” name, which appears on official documents, as well as a “pet” name used only by family and close friends, who is given by Ashima’s grandmother in India, gets lost in the postal void between America and India.
Gogol is disordered because unlike all his Bengali family and friends, he not only has just one name, but his name is Russian and has no connection to his ancestry. While most Americans likewise only have one name, Gogol discovers his name all the more disturbing once he learns in school about the oddball yet brilliant writer with whom he bonds the name.
It is indisputable that one of the vital human is the need of belonging to a everlasting group.
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His parents intend for him to go by “Nikhil” at school and “Gogol” at home, but Gogol is confused and doesn’t want a new name: “He is afraid to be Nikhil, someone he doesn’t know. Who doesn’t know him” (57). Lahiri creates new forms of identity in her characters who cross physical, national, and political borders and in a rhizomatic process the moveable identities for themselves and establish decentered. Moreover, we can see the principal of Gogol’s kindergarten, Mrs. Lapidus, asks him “And what about you, Gogol? Do you want to be called by another name?” (59) After his parents direct her to refer to him by his good name, Nikhil, while he is in school. He answers “no,” that he would not like to be called by a name other than Gogol, so she obeys his wishes over those of his parents and “Gogol” sticks at school. Gogol will later regret this choice, and officially changes his name to
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