Construct a character analysis of Gogol from The Namesake.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Much of Gogol’s character can be understood in relation to a clever bit of foreshadowing that takes place when Gogol is six months old. During the Rice Ceremony, Gogol must choose between a dollar, a pen, and earth, each of which represents an adult profession; instead, he chooses none and cries. Unlike his six-month-old self, an adult Gogol chooses to firmly embrace American culture and rebel against his Bengalese heritage as an adolescent and young adult. He finds lengthy trips to India uncomfortable—as does his sister Sonia—and prefers to assimilate into America to a degree that his parents never did. He goes so far as to change his name, which he feels has burdened him for his entire life, and adopts a name that can be shortened to sound American. For part of the story, at least, Gogol’s choice is clear: in a battle between American culture and Bengalese culture, American culture is the resounding winner.

Gogol finds ambiguity difficult. As a result, he appears harsh in his...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 750 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on