Finding Yourself


The Namesake, a fictional story by Jhumpa Lahiri, explores themes such as cultural and personal identity. Gogol Ganguli, the main character and a confused American-born Indian, doesn’t understand his namesake. His parents name his after a famous Russian writer, Nikoli Gogol, who is considered a literary genius of his time. Gogol changes his name and rebels against his Bengali culture by pursing a life outside of his cultural norms. Climactic events cause Gogol to eventually come to terms with his Bengali culture. Lahiri uses cultural references to Bengali traditions to contrast Indian and American culture. The author creates a setting that is relatable to young adults everywhere struggling to find themselves. The book represents minorities voices and takes a perspective to American-born people from other countries. Lahiri's book is necessary to read in order to understand America's diversity and its leading role in multiple cultures.

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