Notional Concept of Identity Crisis as Diasporic Element in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake

  • SHEKHAR BHAGWAN VISPUTE Assi. Professor, Dept. of English, Vasantrao Naik Government Institute of Arts & Social Sciences,


Jhumpa Lahiri is an American and Indian diasporic writer who has retained the
special place through her significant diasporic novels amongst the recent Indian diasporic
writers. She being the renowned diasporic writer has contributed to English literature through
her many popular novels in which she explored the variety of realistic aspects of the two
different countries as well as cultures due to the confrontations. Her popular works are
Interpreter of Maladies (1999), The unaccustomed Earth (2008), The Lowland (2013), In
Other Words (2015) and The Namesake (2003).
The present research paper is intended to bring out the nature and significance of the
identity crisis in Lahiri’s ‘The Namesake’ which has become the universal issues in all over
the world. The researcher tries to reveal the problems of identity crisis which are created by
the confrontation of two different cultures and the peoples’ inability to compromise with
other cultures. The confrontation of two different cultures makes the people unable to cope
up with the situation that they face while residing and living lives. Hence the researcher
reveals such identity crisis which is being universal aspect in all over the world today is
reflected through the story of The Namesake in which a Bengali family of a newly married
couple migrates to America. They undergo through many struggles and hardships to survive.
Ashoke, a protagonist of the novel and his wife, Ashima live at Massachusetts. Ashima has
to face many problems due to new language and cultures. She delivers a baby which is named
Gogol in the hospital according to the tradition of American culture. Such name becomes the
cause of identity crisis for Gogol. Because Gogol is the name of a Russian writer who is the
most favorite of Ashoke so he named his son Gogol before leaving the hospital. Such name is
registered in his Birth Certificate which remains in school and college of Gogol as well. He is
also known as Nikhil. He doesn’t like to be called as Gogol. He hates the name. Later he
legally changes his name and everybody knows him as Nikhil. At last when he is told the
significance of his name by his father he feels very sad and repents over the changing his
name. He loses his identity due to the confrontation of two cultures.

How to Cite
VISPUTE, SHEKHAR BHAGWAN. Notional Concept of Identity Crisis as Diasporic Element in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake. IJELLH (International Journal of English Language, Literature in Humanities), [S.l.], v. 6, n. 2, p. 9, feb. 2018. ISSN 2321-7065. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 17 mar. 2018.