Belonging is having a feeling of connectedness, or acceptance to other people, places or groups. This enables us to create a sense of identity for ourselves and helps us feel as though we ‘fit in’. In the following texts; Novel, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, film, Bend it Like Beckham by Gurinder Chadha and the song, Teenagers by My Chemical Romance; we can see links between the texts and how the characters feel a sense of belonging and not belonging.
In the first text The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri which is about the Ganguli family, Ashima, Ashoke, Sonia and Gogol, but the story is mainly focused on Ashima and Gogol. In the novel we see the views of Gogol and how he feels about his traditional indian family, and we see Ashima’s views of how Gogol chooses to live in a westernised way. The type of audience that the Namesake aims at is young adults to adults, people who like reading about the Indian culture,or just like Indian books. The purpose of this text shows how someone can have a sense of feeling that they don’t belong anywhere, they have to try and find their sense of identity. The themes and examples of these themes that are present throughout the novel are; Identity - “He is afraid to be Nikhil, someone he doesn't know. Who doesn't know him […] It's a part of growing up, they tell him, of being a Bengali.” When Gogol was little, for school his parents wanted to make his official name Nikhil and his pet name Gogol. Gogol didn’t like that, he thought that changing his name would make him completely different. Meaning he would lose his identity. Family - “He didn't want to go home on the weekends, to go with them to pujos and Bengali parties, to remain unquestionably in their world.” Gogol doesn’t want to be part of the Ganguli family. He is able to escape from them when he goes off to college or when he moves to a different city for his work. Foreignness - “Within minutes, before their eyes Ashoke and Ashima slip into bolder, less complicated versions of themselves, their voices louder, their smiles wider, revealing a confidence Gogol and Sonia never see on Pemberton Road.” Gogol and Sonia are not use to their parents traditional way of life, their real personalities that only come out in Calcutta. Home - “They all come from Calcutta, and for this reason alone they are friends.” Being with their Indian friends makes Ashima and Ashoke feel like they’re home in Calcutta with their family and friends Love - “And then he remembers that his parents can't possibly reach him: he has not given them the number, and the Ratliff's are unlisted. That here at Maxine's side, in this cloistered wilderness, he is free.” Gogol uses love as an escape from his family and his life at home. Dissatisfaction - “On more than one occasion he has come home from the university to find her morose, in bed, rereading her parents' letters.” Ashima is homesick and regrets coming to America, she misses all of her family back home in Calcutta. Society and class - “Later that night he is alone in his room, listening to side 3 of the White Album on his parents' cast-off RCA turntable. The album is a present from his American birthday party, given to him by one of his friends from school.” Gogol doesn’t like being Indian, he much prefers the american culture and the westernised society.
The techniques that are used are; Symbolism, Allegories, Imagery and Third person. We see symbolism when they are in India and Sonia has an allergic reaction to jackfruit while on the train, and one of the passengers is murdered… this reminds them that America is a lot different to India. We see an example of an Allegory when Ashima is attempting to copy a snack that is big in India, because she is homesick, but the only problem is, she can't quite get that snack right, which shows us just how far from home she is. Imagery can be seen when we take a look at “The Overcoat”, which is about a humble clerk who goes mad when he loses his fabulous...
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