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A similarity between both sets of relationship is that Gogol, himself, never really changes. In both, he is unable to fully embrace a sense of openness and transparency with both women. This is rooted in the fact that he is not necessarily open with himself and his own identity. In being with Maxine, he is more concerned with how he appears to her that he surrenders his own sense of self in order to be with her. This involves shedding as much as possible his own sense of Indian identity. In this, Gogol is unable to represent a sense of openness with himself in this relationship, and thus is almost invisible in it. For this reason, when his father dies, something inside him forces him and almost compels him to move away from Maxine because he has realized that he was never himself with her from the start. In terms of Gogol's relationship with Moushumi, once again, Gogol's lack of emotional openness causes challenges in the relationship. He is incapable of being open and honest with her as to why he feels out of place in their relationship. In his relationship with Maxine, it was racial identity that helped to create the barrier in which Gogol hid from his own need to be emotionally open. In his relationship with Moushumi, it was the awkwardness of being someone "on the rebound" that provides the shelter that prevents him from being emotionally honest about the direction of the relationship. In both settings, Gogol's inability to be open with himself precludes him from being open with partners, demonstrating to a great extent why both relationships falter.
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