The namesake is the first novel of Jhumpa Lahiri. This novel discusses almost the same themes discussed in Kiran Desai’s The inheritance of loss. In this work, Lahiri discusses the problems faced by immigrants. Lahiri extensively portrays the themes of globalization, multiculturalism, dual identity, the serfdom of women in Indian society, and parent-child relationships.
Ashoke and Ashima are the two important characters of the novel. Ashoke and Ashima are the two important characters of the novel. In the 1960’s America was a dream place for youngsters. Ashoke moved there as a first-generation immigrant. Later, Ashoke decides to marry a girl from India to enhance his culture and rituals. Ashima is an obedient girl. One day when she is back from her college, she sees Ashoke at her home with her parents. It was their first meeting. She agreed to the proposal.
Even after their early days in America, Ashima was very strict with her Indian culture. She never calls her husband by name. According to her calling her husband by name decreases the lifespan of her husband. Later, Ashima becomes pregnant. She is full of nostalgic memories. She wished she could make delivery in her own house. In India, most women go to their own house and spend some months with them before she joins back to their husbands’ family.
She dreams about getting some Indian street foods. Ashima felt displacement. She had to face a cultural crisis in hospital. She couldn’t understand all the medical Jargon used by a doctor. After her delivery, she had to name the baby immediately. In India, parents used to spend time before naming a child. Some of them examine astrological and numerical factors before finalizing them.
People in India believe that name brings fortune. Ashima and Ashok named their baby boy Gogol after famous Russian writer Nikolay Gogol. Ashoke suggested this name, assuming that ‘Gogol’ would bring luck to his son. Ashoke had a train accident years before. He was reading Nikolay Gogol. His card which he left in the book helped the rescuers to find his identity. So he feels that the same luck factor will be with his son.
They had another baby after five years. They named her Sonali and they called her Sonu. During this period, Ashima was going through severe loneliness. Ashok was busy with his work and the kids eventually started to assimilate to American culture.
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