Although the conflict in The Namesake originates from the clash of two different cultures, the emphasis is on family relationships. For Ashoke and Ashima, the trip to India is like a homecoming. However for Gogol and Sonia, it is an ordeal. Gogol's identity crisis begins with his dislike for the name his father gave him. He is in a state of conflict with his parents and the entire Indian culture they promote. As soon as he goes to college, he distances himself from his family.
After Ashoke's death, Gogol returns home. The Indian traditions that annoyed him earlier begin to make sense. He tonsures his head, foregoes meat, and eats a "mourner's diet." He begins to understand the importance of his name and how much it meant to his father. His desire to reconnect with his family brings him close to Moushumi, who he decides to marry. When his marriage ends in divorce, he understands how difficult it must have been for his parents to balance marriage, raise two kids, and adapt to a new culture.
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