Ashima Ganguli, And Ashima feels again out of place when the family relocates to the suburbs of Boston, just as Ashima was becoming accustomed to her Cambridge neighborhood. It is not that Bengalis experience a feeling of “outsider-ness” when they come to America. Despite their Bengali-American heritage, Moushumi grow apart, become foreign to one another, because Moushumi longs for a different set of experiences, and for a different kind of relationship. and in-depth analyses of Ashima thinks on how she has gotten to know her new husband during the intervening months in freezing Cambridge, where she has cooked for him, washed his clothes, and learned his habits. But, by the end of the novel, it becomes clear that Lahiri’s point is much larger. But she does not do so to argue that life is entirely change. At first, it appears that The Namesake is a novel “about” the Bengali-American experience. But the context, and the location, in which these desires are fulfilled does. And the train-ride to Ashoke’s grandfather’s house serves as the dominant traumatic event of Ashoke’s young life, which spurs his resolve to leave India, to see the world, to create his own life separate from the family networks of his native Calcutta. As the chapter ends, Ashoke realizes he has had three lives: one in India before the crash, one of recuperation, and a third in the US, as a student living and working in English. Gogol is the center of the novel, and it is his journey from childhood into young adulthood that the narrator tracks most closely. But Ashima begins to feel, over the course of many years, that Cambridge is her home. Ghosh encourages Ashoke to travel abroad himself, and gives Ashoke his address in India, in case Ashoke ever wants to visit. His grandfather introduced Ashoke to Russian novels, especially those of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Turgenev, and Nikolai Gogol. Of course, Ashima and Ashoke feel out of place when they move to Cambridge. In fact, it is through change that characters learn who they are, and what parts of themselves remain constant. He feels it is not his own, and it is not until college, after he has legally changed it to Nikhil, that his father tells him the story that lies behind it. The Namesake This shows that, although the family’s circumstances shift as the years go by, certain truths remain apparent for each of them. Ashima cooks to mark special occasions in America, and to re-interpret Bengali cuisine using the materials she can find in Cambridge. This theme is born out in Gogol’s different romantic relationships. Continue your study of The Namesake with these useful links. Ashima notes that she does not use Ashoke’s given name, because that name, in Bengali, has a special, almost sacred resonance. Ashoke attributes his survival to Gogol, the author of the book that saved his life by attracting the rescuers’ attention. It is that America is a country of “being outside,” of different groups and communities, some overlapping, others quite removed from one another. Gogol grows up perplexed by his pet name. Lahiri tracks, through The Namesake, the changes that occur to the Ganguli family. Suddenly, the train derails, killing Ghosh and dozens of others. The narrator recognizes that Ashima’s marriage was arranged, and that she did not exactly travel to America by choice, but also depicts Ashima’s interior life with depth and precision. In a sense, her own desires, for love and fulfillment and companionship, never change. Gogol (Nikhil) Ganguli Character Analysis in The Namesake | SparkNotes. Ashima only learns Ashoke’s name after their betrothal, and they fly to America soon after they are married, in a highly formal Bengali ceremony in Calcutta. One day, her parents introduced Ashima, at home, to a man named Ashoke, an engineering student in far-away Boston, where Ashima has never thought of visiting, let alone living. Food, too, is an important touchstone for Ashima and for the novel itself. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Here's where you'll find analysis about the book as a whole. This, in contrast to Moushumi, with whom Gogol shares a great many cultural ties. Ashoke’s rehabilitation from his injuries takes months, and during that time he resolves to follow the deceased Ghosh’s advice and study abroad. Millions of books are just a click away on BN.com and through our FREE NOOK reading apps. But Ashoke survives, and is identified by rescuers by the fluttering page of his Gogol volume, which Ashoke drops when the rescuers are nearby. Read a Plot Overview of the entire book or a chapter by chapter Summary and Analysis. Gogol (Nikhil) Ganguli: Character Analysis. The Namesake Quote 1 He remembers the page crumpled tightly in his fingers, the sudden shock of the lantern’s glare in his eyes. SparkNotes is brought to you by Barnes & Noble. Lahiri’s narrator, writing in the third-person, describes the inner thoughts of Ashima and Ashoke, two recent émigrés to the United States, whose child will be born an American, separated from ancestral and linguistic ties to Calcutta, and to Bengali culture in India. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Ashima Ganguli, a recent immigrant to the United States from Calcutta, India, is making a Rice Krispie and peanut snack, similar to that of Calcutta’s street-food vendors. SparkNotes is brought to you by Barnes & Noble. He decides, afterward, to leave for the United States, and when he returns to Calcutta to find a bride, he marries Ashima. SparkNotes is brought to you by Barnes & Noble. As its title indicates, The Namesake is a novel of identities. Food will go on to serve as a central, unifying element in the parties and celebrations hosted in the Bengali communities of the greater Boston area throughout the novel’s timeline. Ashoke is accepted on scholarship to an engineering doctoral program at MIT, in Cambridge. Gogol tries on different identities at different stages of his life: in college, with Ruth, after college, with Maxine, and in his marriage to Moushumi. The Namesake is a novel by Jhumpa Lahiri that was first published in 2003. With Maxine, Gogol feels that the Ratliff family is fundamentally different from his own, that he does not understand their “city” lifestyle. Gogol realizes that it is one thing to change one’s name officially, but another thing to become a different person. This changes both their lives, and their initial transition to marriage in Cambridge isn’t always an easy one. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select.
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