The Namesake Essay

The Namesake Essay

540 Words3 Pages

The Namesake, written by Jhumpa Lahira, a famous Indian writer who won the Pulitzer Prize for her story collection Interpreter of Maladies, brilliantly illustrates the immigrant experience and the tangled ties between generations. In this novel, the main characters Ashima and her husband, Ashoke, were first generation immigrants in the United States from India. The whole story begins with Ashima's pregnancy and her nostalgia of her hometown, and a sense of melancholy revealed from the first chapter. While Ashima felt insecure and worried about her new life in the United States, her husband Ashoke, rather wanted to settle in and struggle for a new life. All of uncertainty and reluctance of this new-coming couple faded way when their son,…show more content…

Obviously Ashima and Ashoke also faced lots of problems when they first lived in a new country; they were forced to leave their “comfort zone”. They spoke a different language, grew up with Indian tradition, and even had to raise a child. They did not have any friends, not to say the economic base to provide the best resources for the whole family. Their foremost goal was to adapt to the new environment and become a real part of their community. But being out of their comfort zone is the crucial step that they must not skip. They have to be confident to make new friends, speak the language that they have not even get used to yet, and “abandon” the tradition in their hometown. Life is like a cliff, and only those who have guts and faith can climb up to the peak of the mountain to see the twilight. They had to try to understand, communicate and even to compromise with each other, and after Gogol's birth, they soon were inundated with daily work. It also has some similarity with my Gateway scholar life at Brandeis. As an international student, it is my first time to be far away from home to live in an unfamiliar country. With a combination of excitement of college and worry to my new life, I put all my effort into my classes, and forced myself to get out of my comfort zone. Everyone in Gateway, I believe, has the same worry and expectation about making friends and adapting into the new

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Essay on The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

1446 Words6 Pages

The Namesake, presents the life of Ashima Ganguli, who has been transported from India to America with grace and compassion. This story by Jhumpa Lahiri, is an allegory establishing an identity with using symbolic meaning between two cultures that intersect. The themes throughout the story refer to immigrant experiences, the conflict of cultures, the contrast of assimilation and the connection between generations. The Namesake, opens the worlds of emotions Ashima experiences, while straddling her two worlds. This story of identity allows readers to travel with Ashima on an intimate journey through her life as an immigrant. As a young wife and mother, Ashima Ganguli experiences labor and delivery just like many other American women, in…show more content…

This book depicts the national and cultural status of the immigrant mother, who is able to preserve the traditions of her Indian heritage that connect her to her homeland. Ensuring a successful future for her American-born children is coordinated with the privilege of being an American citizen. Ashima yearns for her homeland and her family that she left behind when marrying and moving to Boston. Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settled together in Cambridge, Massachusetts, following their arranged wedding. Ashoke is an engineer by training and has no trouble adapting to his new life. Ashima, resists all things American and pines for her family. Ashima remains silent about her feelings of loneliness, however Ashoke is aware of how much she misses her homeland. Ashima and Ashoke have been raised in traditional Bengali homes where having servants is part of the culture. At their traditional Indian wedding ceremony, Ashima circled her husband seven times. I can envision this ceremony as this practice is the same in a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony I also engaged in. There are many traditions that are cross-cultural creating an understanding among the similarities. In the Namesake, the new parents are faced with a decision to name their son. A tradition where the Grandmother on the Mothers’ side names the baby. Ashima’s Grandmother was sending word about the baby’s name from India. After not hearing from the Grandmother, a proper name

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