November 14, 2014
The Namesake Literary Thesis Lahiri on The Namesake “America is a real presence in the book; the characters must struggle to come to terms with what it means to live here, to be brought up here to belong and not belong here.” There has always been a great struggle for immigrants to find a cultural balance. To assimilate into another society takes a great deal of patience, time and effort, especially when that society holds a lot of prejudice. The Namesake starts in the year 1968. At this time in history people still thought that anyone of color as conspicuous. Many people of color experienced this in the form of racial slurs, grafitti, mean looks and many other things. This is still present today but it is less serious now. The Namesake eloquently discusses the prejudice the Ganguli family feels as well as the assimilation of the Ganguli family, and how Indian and American culture are present in their lives. This book intricately weaves two cultures, like a web, throughout the story of a family that immigrated to America from India and it keeps the readers wondering what customs of each culture the next generation will keep dear to their hearts. The assimilation of the Ganguli family exposes how they try to keep their culture and pass it on to their children. In the beginning of the novel, Ashima, a Bengali woman who has immigrated with her husband to America, is pregnant with a baby boy. As this baby boy, which they have named Gogol, grows up, Ashima and Ashoke, her husband, begin to instill Indian culture in his life. The first major event related to the Indian culture in Gogol’s life is when he turns six months old. “The first formal ceremony of their lives centers around the consumption of solid food. They ask Dilip Nandi to play the part of ...
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