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

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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 father dies, he shows a great deal of fluidity in embracing his own family and his own sense of identity from a cultural point of view.  Being able to go back to India and engage in a marriage that is reflective of tradition is also another example of the hybrid element of second generation immigrants.  There is a fluidity in how Gogol approaches consciousness that is reflective of a second generation immigrant that is more reflective of a willingness to pursue different paths to emotional happiness.  Whereas the first generation immigrant might be compelled to embrace assimilation-ism at all costs and even sacrifice threads and connections to past in order to "be American," the second generation fluid and hybrid approach to identity is easily embraced by Gogol after his father's death.  It is this fluidity that enables Gogol to find more happiness in a setting where challenges to it are evident.

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The Namesake

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