Questions and Answers for The Namesake

The Namesake

Why is this book called The Namesake?

"What's in a name?" goes the old, beautiful Shakespearean quote: "That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet." However, when it comes to questions of identity, it turns out...

Latest answer posted October 15, 2019 9:54 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Namesake

What types of conflict do you find in The Namesake? Give examples of at least one internal conflict one external...

This is a very interesting question! Usually in criticism of novels, external conflict is directly plot oriented; while internal conflicts within characters may or may not affect the plot. It is...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2010 4:09 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

What are some literary techniques used in The Namesake?

In The Namesake, author Jhumpa Lahiri describes the struggles and hardships of an immigrant couple who form a new life in a country whose customs are completely at odds with those to which they are...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2017 12:45 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Namesake

In The Namesake, how does Gogol's definition of home change throughout the novel?

In the beginning of the novel The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, a Bengali couple named Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli leave India to begin a new life together in the United States. Their marriage was...

Latest answer posted November 22, 2019 3:57 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Namesake

What is meant by the word "namesake" in "The Namesake"?

In Jhumpa Lahiri's book, the word "namesake" references the human search for meaning. The word essentially encompasses Gogol/ Nikhil's struggle for identity. The story begins with an explanation of...

Latest answer posted December 21, 2016 3:06 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Namesake

In the Namesake, how can we compare Gogol's two main relationships, Maxine and Moushumi?

Maxine and Moushumi are very different characters and represent two different times in Gogol's life. Ultimately, neither relationship works out because Gogol does not truly know himself. Gogol...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2017 5:56 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Namesake

Explain how The Namesake is in the Bildungsroman genre. Does the genre definition apply to the development of the boy...

A bildungsroman is a narrative that tells the story of the protagonist's coming-of-age process. The novel will typically show the protagonist growing up both physically and psychologically. Often,...

Latest answer posted February 23, 2019 7:51 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Namesake

What are some differences between Bengali and American customs, traditions or practices? From the novel The...

Jhumpa Lahiri shows cultural differences in the Ganguli family primarily between parents and children, as they were born in India and the Unites States respectively. A key difference of the Bengali...

Latest answer posted February 14, 2019 12:30 am UTC

3 educator answers

The Namesake

In "The Namesake," how does Ashoke's death alter relationships within the immediate Ganguli family?

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....

Latest answer posted November 7, 2018 3:23 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Namesake

Why does the name "Gogol" have special meaning for Ashoke in "The Namesake"?

The name Gogol is extremely significant to Ashoke in The Namesake. Ashoke gives his son the name Gogol, and at first, the naming is portrayed as somewhat arbitrary. Ashoke and his wife Ashima, a...

Latest answer posted March 13, 2019 4:46 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Namesake

What are the themes of "The Namesake" and explain how they are significant to the title.

Identity: Gogol struggles throughout the novel with his dual identity - American and Bengali. He changes his name in an effort to do away with any negative connotation there is with the origin of...

Latest answer posted March 6, 2009 6:23 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

Explain the significance of cultural aspects of identity in The Namesake.

Cultural identity is a crucial theme in Lahiri's The Namesake. The main character, Gogol, is an American born of Indian parents soon after they have settled as a married couple in Massachusetts....

Latest answer posted April 16, 2018 3:56 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Namesake

In The Namesake, how does Gogol's relationship to his family influence the development of his identity?

Gogol's identity is enhanced by the fluid relationship he holds with his family. At first, Gogol's identity is enhanced with distancing himself from his family. This is seen in the choices he...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2011 7:22 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

In "The Namesake," what are some differences between Maxine and Moushumi?

The main difference, which is fairly obvious and perhaps overly so to be stated, is that Maxine is not Indian, wheras Moushumi is. This difference, though blatant and obvious, actually plays a...

Latest answer posted December 13, 2009 12:47 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

Critically discuss Lahiri's literary devices and authorial style in Chapter 5 of The Namesake.

A sampling of Lahiri's authorial style and use of literary devices can be gotten from the beginning of Chapter 5 of The Namesake. Lahiri's authorial style employs a bold direct tone that is...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2011 1:56 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

What are the ways in which The Namesake relates to the theme of cultural difference?

Jhumpa Lahiri explores the theme of cultural difference in The Namesake through the idea of a name. This theme is closely related to the theme of modernity. Marriage is also a culturally meaningful...

Latest answer posted December 4, 2019 8:27 pm UTC

3 educator answers

The Namesake

In Chapters 4 and 5 of The Namesake, where does the point of view shift from one character to another?

In Chapter 4, the narration focuses on the teenage Gogol, from the family party to the scene in which he receives his father's precious book, to the long trip overseas, and on into Gogol's high...

Latest answer posted May 12, 2016 7:22 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

In The Namesake, how are Ashima's address books symbolic?

Ashima carries multiple address books with her after moving to America in "The Namesake." In her old life, prior to her arrival in the States, Ashima remained in the same few houses for her whole...

Latest answer posted June 4, 2019 4:51 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Namesake

What are the ways in which Jhumpa Lahiri presents marriage in the novel The Namesake?

There are a few marriages in Lahiri's The Namesake. Two of these marriages influence Gogol, and one is his own union with Moushumi. The first marriage that influences Gogol is, of course, that of...

Latest answer posted December 21, 2017 2:42 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Namesake

I need help with an essay on The Namesake. I am trying to figure out how to explain how relationships between member...

One way to approach this is to consider what the themes of the novel are and how the relationships between characters help explain that theme. Gogol resents his family when he's young because he...

Latest answer posted January 29, 2020 9:30 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Namesake

Construct a character analysis of Gogol from The Namesake.

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,...

Latest answer posted October 26, 2016 8:56 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Namesake

In the novel The Namesake, what were some generational struggles that Gogol faced with dating girls, changing his...

The protagonist of Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake, Gogol (or Nikhil) Ganguli, is born to Indian parents who moved to the United States shortly before having him. He is an American citizen who grows...

Latest answer posted April 14, 2018 2:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

The last line of Chapter 6 of The Namesake reads: “That here at Maxine’s side, in this cloistered wilderness, he is...

It means that Gogol feels free from the influence of his overbearing family and their culture from which he has always struggled to distance himself. Gogol spends his adolescence and young...

Latest answer posted May 12, 2016 7:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

What is Ashima Ganguli craving? What is significant about her wanting this food?

Ashima is craving something spicy. Part of this craving might come from her being pregnant. Yet, another part of it might come from the fact that she has left an intense culture and moved into a...

Latest answer posted October 20, 2013 12:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

What are the themes in The Namesake?

Some of the themes in The Namesake are immigration into another country; assimilation into one's own lifestyle the customs, traditions and attitudes of the new country; marriage; home. Immigration...

Latest answer posted March 15, 2010 8:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

Why is The Namesake by Jhumpa Lihiri in the third-person narrative?

First person and third person are points of view in literature. First person (I, we,) limits itself to the point of view of a single narrator, whereas third person (he, she, they, it) is able to...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2019 3:25 pm UTC

2 educator answers

The Namesake

Why were Ashima and Ashoke forced to choose a name when Gogol was born?

Lahiri sets this up as one of the most important events in the novel. Not only does it help to explain the title, but it also establishes in the most clear of ways the identity crisis that the...

Latest answer posted September 29, 2012 3:27 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

What is the contrast between Mrs Jones and Ashoke's mother in " The Namesake"? 

Hello! In Jhumpa Lahiri's 'The Namesake,' Ashoke is Gogol's father. In Chapter 3, we read that he has been hired as an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the university. He shares a...

Latest answer posted June 5, 2015 3:21 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

How does Ashima try to make over her home in Cambridge to remind her of what she has left behind in Calcutta?

I think that the opening of the story in which Ashima is trying to make an Indian savoury snack using American ingredients represents much on how Ashima wishes to remake her life in Boston as a...

Latest answer posted September 2, 2012 9:16 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

In "The Namesake," in what ways does Gogol's sense of self change and evolve because of his culture throughout the...

I think that Gogol's identity changes in large part due to his culture because it represents an aspect of his consciousness that has yet to be fully explored. Gogol is a character that defines...

Latest answer posted June 16, 2011 10:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

In the novel The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, how did naming cause an impact throughout the novel?

Names are crucially important in Lahiri's The Namesake, as we can see from the novel's title. The name referred to in the title is Gogol, who is the protagonist of the novel. His parents are from...

Latest answer posted April 21, 2018 4:06 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

Idenify a similarity between Gogol's relationship with Maxine and his relationship with Moushoumi?

In his relationships with both Maxine and Moushoumi, Gogol adopts his partner's identity (or what he perceives that identity to be) because he has not yet solidified and accepted his own identity....

Latest answer posted May 4, 2018 12:26 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Namesake

How can I write a theme essay on The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri?

A thematic essay is very different from a summary or critical analysis. Rather than simply recounting what happened in the book, you need to choose a specific theme, issue or idea, that informs a...

Latest answer posted May 16, 2015 5:47 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

In "The Namesake", what is like for Ashima away from her culture and family?

Painful and isolating--over many years she makes friends in the Indian community in Boston, and her children and husband bring her happiness. But when her husband dies and her two children are...

Latest answer posted November 3, 2008 10:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

What is a good related text for The Namesake?

The tags of the question got me to thinking a bit broadly about the connection. I think that a really nice complement to what Lahiri brings out in The Namesake is what Mukherjee attempts to...

Latest answer posted January 19, 2013 3:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

What were the varying degrees of assimilation and acculturation between the half generation and first generation...

Lahiri does a very stellar job in articulating how the generation gap converges with the issue of racial and ethnicity. In some respects, Lahiri shows how each generation experiences a different...

Latest answer posted June 23, 2011 6:56 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

At what point in The Namesake is the theme of identity evident?

I would think that when Gogol is confronted by the reality that there is a void in his life that cannot be explained through traditional analysis, this would be one of the first moments where the...

Latest answer posted June 6, 2011 11:55 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

What are examples of Gogol in the namesake that show his hybridity of a second generation immigrant?

I think that Gogol demonstrates the hybridity of a second generation immigrant in a couple of ways. On one hand, he is intensely "Western" as seen in the start of the narrative. Yet, when his...

Latest answer posted November 20, 2011 9:14 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

In The Namesake, what is the difference between Gogol and his parents' views on marriage?

Gogol, as a child who was born and brought up in America, thinks that the arranged marriage of his parents is something that is oppressive and has resulted in a lack of love between them. When he...

Latest answer posted February 28, 2012 2:11 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

Who is the protagonist in The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri?

Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake fits the description of a bildungsroman, which is a work of literature that tells the story of a protagonist's formative years. The protagonist of The Namesake is...

Latest answer posted August 1, 2018 9:43 am UTC

2 educator answers

The Namesake

How did Gogol succeed in both worlds of the American culture and the Indian culture?

I think that Gogol shows a level of success in both cultures because he recognizes that his identity lies in both worlds. At first, he immerses himself in the American culture. Gogol does so in...

Latest answer posted October 9, 2011 3:44 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

What is theme of The Namesake?

In many immigrant families, it's inevitably the case that children find it much easier to assimilate into their new country than their parents. This is not really surprising; parents are older and...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2020 1:04 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

How does Ashima and Ashoke's immigration affect Gogol?

Ashima and Ashoke's immigration has a profound impact on their son Gogol. He grows up surrounded by friends and peers who understand and move comfortably in American culture in a way his family...

Latest answer posted March 11, 2015 10:49 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

How does The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri relate to "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost?

You could easily argue that "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost relates to every piece of fiction: every novel, every short story. At its heart, the poem is about considering your options in life,...

Latest answer posted March 30, 2016 7:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

How do Gogol's relationships with American women help readers understand his struggle with the theme of identity?

The novel The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri is about a Bengali-American couple and their children, particularly their son, attempting to come to grips with the two disparate cultures with which they...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2020 7:01 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

Who is Moushumi? Can you introduce her more fully so i can get the main picture. Who is she as a character?

Moushumi Mazoomdar is a woman whose parents are friends of the Gangulis. She knew Gogol when she was 13, was invited to his party but she thoroughly ignored him and the rest of the kids. When she...

Latest answer posted March 6, 2009 6:06 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

Cultural relevance is at the root of Gogol's problems. Cultural relevance is at the root of Gogol's problems.

I believe that the statement does hold some level of validity. On one hand, there is some significance to how cultural relevance, or the lack of it, plays a role in Gogol's challenge. Certainly,...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2011 10:43 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

I am going to write a paper on the quest of identity by Gogol in the novel Namesake. Please provide me notes on it....

Choosing the character of Gogol to focus on the quest of identity is a good choice indeed. There are two ways to approach this topic with the character of Gogol: his search for cultural identity...

Latest answer posted March 16, 2015 2:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

How does space impact the characters' psychology and mood in The Namesake?

Space is an important concept both physically and emotionally. The different apartments and houses the characters live in and the huge spaces of the countries all play their part in shaping the...

Latest answer posted November 1, 2018 7:08 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Namesake

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

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...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2011 3:59 am UTC

1 educator answer

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