The Namesake Essay On Identity

Topics: CultureIdentity

Then, Shook abruptly passed away, giving Googol a sort of wake up call. When told to get away from all the chaos that came with sorting out the family affairs, Googol responded with, “l don’t want to get away’ (182). Googol realizes the importance of staying close to home to take care of his mother. Then, “a few months after his father’s death, he stepped out of Ammine’s life for good” (188) abandoning a life he could have had with Maxine.

He re-evaluates his life to figure out what his priorities are and he ends up trading it al in for his family.

Jhumpa Lahiri Essays

Choke’s death is a pivotal moment in the novel and it is a time where Googol is able to return to his Bengali roots for a little while. Googol recalls the time when his grandfather had passed away and when his father had shaved his head accordingly. He recalls, “… It was a Bengali son’s duty to shave his head in the wake of a parent’s death” (179).

Googol also observes the other customs that come after a death in the Bengali culture. “For ten days following his father’s death, he and his mother and Sonic eat a mourner’s diet” (180). On the eleventh day of mourning,

Googol sits in front of his father’s portrait during a religious ceremony while verses in Sanskrit are being chanted. In this ceremony, Googol is fulfilling his own duty as a Bengali son, paying respects to his father and acting as the leader of the Gauguin family.

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Much to Sigma’s delight, Googol agrees to go on a date with a childhood friend, Missouri Mammogram. At first, he is apprehensive about the idea of dating a fellow Bengali, but once he gets to know her, he changes his mind. “It is her familiarity that makes him curious about her” (199). Googol weds Missouri with a traditional Indian adding, wearing traditional Bengali clothing.

He wears “… A parchment-colored Punjabi top that had once belonged to his father, a pretreated dhoti with a drawstring waist, a pair of ingrain slippers with curling toes” (220). While Missouri herself is dressed in a sari, her neck draped with priceless Jewels. The couple decides that it is much easier to let their families take control over the wedding plans because it is less stress on them and makes their families happy. According to the Mammogram family and the Gauguin family, Missouri and Googol were the perfect match. When they got married, it was said that, “… And Missouri are fulfilling a collective, deep-seated desire– because they’re both Bengali, everyone can let his hair down a bit” (224). In reality, the marriage was not so perfect. Instead of ending in a happy ever after, Googol and Missouri went their separate ways. And beyond, he deviated from what his parents wanted of him. As he grew into adulthood he became more involved in his culture. He takes care of his family, abandons the life he could have had, and marries a Bengali woman. Things may not have turned out exactly like he wanted to, but in the end, Googol realizes the importance of embracing every side of himself.

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The Namesake Essay On Identity. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

The Namesake Essay On Identity
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