The Namesake and Bend it Like Beckham Belonging essay

Topics: The Namesake, Bend It Like Beckham, Culture Pages: 4 (1707 words) Published: October 8, 2013
My two texts are “The Namesake” and “Bend it like Beckham”. Our prescribed text, Jhumpa Lahiris “The Namesake” explores the link to belonging in detail. The emphasis is on Gogol Ganguli. Gogol struggles with a sense of belonging to his family and his Bengali culture and heritage throughout his life in the course of the novel. Born and raised in the U.S., while his parents spent their entire life in India following Bengali culture and practices and moved on to America as young adults. Gogol must try to find a sense of belonging as he deals with trying to belong in American society, while following his Bengali traditions. This shares many similarities with Jesmindar Bhamra, the main character in my related text, “Bend it Like Beckham”. The film was released in 2002 and directed by Gurinder Chadha. The film portrays a stereotypical Sikh- Indian family living in England. The youngest, Jesminder dreams of being a footballer, but due to the religious expectations set by her mother and father wanting to raise her with traditional Indian-Sikh beliefs and customs, she is alienated and left to feel as an outcast to her English friends. In both the Namesake and ‘Bend it like Beckham’, the two main characters of Gogol and Jess are brought into this life of divided cultures and strive to find a sense of belonging between their cultural heritage and newly adopted culture they’ve been brought into. The texts show that a person’s sense of belonging is a concept that evolves through time and experiences.

The “Namesake” follows Gogol Ganguli, an Indian origin, born in America. Gogols parents Ashima and Ashoke, faced the more harrowing task of leaving their home and family in India and relocating to America. Throughout the novel, the composer of the namesake illustrates an aspect of belonging through the technique symbolism. Lahiri uses the motif of naming, to create the sense of belonging and not belonging. Gogol’s name becomes a symbol for the difficulty he faces in accepting...
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