How does The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri, portray childhood?
Childhood, in Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake, is portrayed as a conflict between the past and the present. Since Gogol and Sonia maintain they are American first, both have a hard time embracing their Indian roots. Their parents, Ashima and Ashoke, desire to have their children embrace their cultural roots; the parents even take them back to India multiple times.
The novel brings up the idea of assimilation through the lives of the children, yet the lives of the parents reflect a distinct pull away from American customs (although they do practice some reluctantly).
Through the reluctance of the children to adhere to Bengalese culture, the novel depicts childhood of one which is filled with making choices, rebellion, and self-identity.
check Approved by eNotes Editorial