What does Gogol learn about himself from the rupture of his relationship with Moushumi?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Gogol learns that there are on "quick fixes" in the desire to find some level of solidity in consciousness.  Gogol had focused on external attachments as helping to bring about the notion of solidity in his state of being in the world.  Whether it was embracing the life of "the West" with all of its trappings or the belief that "the answer" resided in traditional India, Gogol had never really focused inward on what comprised his own identity and how happiness can be evident in such a setting.  I think that this is where his relationship with Moushumi becomes such a moment of epiphany.  Gogol understands that even before his need to make peace with others, there has to be a full embrace and understanding of his own sense of self.  This is something that lies outside the reach of culture and of other externally driven elements.  It is this awareness that enables him to understand more of himself, and pick up a book from the Russian author to understand what his father envisioned in naming his son and in understanding the significance of his "namesake."  In this, there is a stronger desire to fully understand his own sense of self and abandon the "quick fix" from the external and move into the realm of the subjective.  This becomes one of the moments of epiphany that arises out of his failed relationship with Moushumi.

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