The Namesake In the book, The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri, Gogol is the son of Bengali parents, and has many different experiences trying to fit into American culture. At the beginning, Gogol didn’t really care about his name when he was a child. But then in his teenage years all he cared about was being called Nikhil. Towards the end, Gogol starts to praise his name. Gogol was born in North America to Bengali parents. His parents try to keep some of the Indian traditions, although it’s difficult.Gogol is lways trying to fit in with his American friends, which leads him to change his name. First, Gogol is kind of afraid to be called ‘Nikhil’ because he doesn’t know how it will feel.
In this moment, he Just talked to his parents. This was when he entered kindergarten, and his parents wanted to register him as ‘Nikhil’. “He is afraid to be Nikhil, someone he doesn’t know’ (Lahiri, 57). This quote tells us that he wanted to still have the name ‘Gogol’, because it represents to him the happy life he had lived until then with his parents.Before changing his name, Gogol has his first kiss. And that’s when the new name Journey starts for him, since he presents himself as Nikhil. ” ‘It wasn’t me,’ he nearly says. But he doesnt tell them that it hadnt been Gogol who’d kissed Kim.
That Gogol had had nothing to do with it” (96). This refers to kissing Kim as an action only Nikhil will do. This tells us that Gogol is sort of a shy person that doesn’t dare to do these things that Nikhil does. After hating his name for a very long time, he then decides to change his name to Nikhil when he goes to university.
And that is when he apparently starts to become lucky in his love life, and do things Gogol wouldn’t dare to do. “It is as Nikhil that he takes Metro-North into Manhattan one weekend with Jonathan and gets himself a fake ID that allows him to be served liquor in New Haven parks” (105). He also does other things as ‘Nikhil’, “It is as Nikhil that he loses his virginity at a party at Ezra Stiles, with a girl wearing a plaid woolen skirt … ” (105).
Towards the end of the book, Gogol starts to praise his name. When his father dies, he regrets having changed his name.And in the end he thinks, “Without eople in the world to call him Gogol, no matter how long he himself lives, Gogol Ganguli will, once and for all, vanish from the lips of loved ones, and so, cease to In the end, what makes Gogol the weakest is his dad, because he exist” (289). starts to appreciate his name after he dies. Another factor that may have caused Gogol to regret changing his name, is the disastrous love life he ends up with in the book. When he changed his name, at first, he ‘succeeded’ in his love life. But in the end, he valued his name, because he felt grief when his dad died.