The Namesake Questions and Answers

The Namesake

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)

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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)

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The Namesake

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)

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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)

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The Namesake

In Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake, protagonist Gogul Ganguli attempts to find his identity while straddling two different worlds as a Bengali American. The cultural aspects of his identity are...

Latest answer posted May 12, 2021, 8:15 pm (UTC)

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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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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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)

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The Namesake

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...

Latest answer posted August 10, 2013, 6:53 pm (UTC)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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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)

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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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

Jhumpa Lahiri's novel The Namesake explores family relationships in a cross-cultural context, focusing on the different attitudes of first and second generation immigrants to the United States. One...

Latest answer posted May 1, 2022, 3:31 pm (UTC)

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The Namesake

With regard to Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake, you might argue that the family relationships in the story challenge both the characters and the readers to explore their ideas about family more deeply...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2022, 5:01 pm (UTC)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

Jhumpa Lahiri's novel The Namesake is centered around family relationships as one of its primary themes. You are being asked to pick out at least three quotations that express this theme and...

Latest answer posted May 9, 2022, 3:23 pm (UTC)

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The Namesake

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)

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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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

At his rice ceremony, Gogol eats everything he is offered but when he is supposed to choose what destiny he'll have he doesnt touch anything on the plate (which includes a mound of dirt, a dollar...

Latest answer posted March 6, 2009, 6:09 am (UTC)

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The Namesake

There are many different symbols in Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake. Let's look at a few of them. We might first point to names themselves as symbols. In Bengalese culture, naming is highly important...

Latest answer posted May 27, 2022, 1:42 pm (UTC)

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The Namesake

Family relationships actually stand at the heart of Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake as Gogol explores the meaning of family life in his Bengalese heritage and in the American culture, eventually...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2022, 7:06 pm (UTC)

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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)

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The Namesake

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)

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The Namesake

There are many examples of exclusion in The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. The story is all about exclusion, in fact. Gogol's parents Ashoke and Ashima have emigrated from Bengal, India, to the United...

Latest answer posted March 15, 2010, 3:40 am (UTC)

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