ALIENATION AND QUEST FOR IDENTITY IN JHUMPA LAHIRI'S THE NAMESAKE
JhumpaLahiriâ€ŸsThe Namesake deals with the travails that a Bengali couple Ashok Ganguli and Ashima face in the wake of their migration to U.S. The trauma of moving away from their motherland and settling in a foreign country, along with social and religious differences causes cultural conflicts and a sense of alienation. This cultural displacement not only affects the couple, who are first generation immigrants, but also their son Gogol, a second generation immigrant, who struggles for establishing his identity. He finds his name to be strange and is unable to come to terms with his divided identity of being both an American and an Indian. He is unable to strike a balance between adapting to American culture and trying to follow his parentsâ€Ÿ culture. It is these issues of cultural displacement, being an alien in a foreign country, longing for a lost world, struggle for survival and loss of identity that find expression in The Namesake. The novel portrays how it is the second generation immigrants who end up being nowhere when they are born in a country, which is different from their parentsâ€Ÿ. This paper seeks to throw light on the themes of alienation and loss of identity in JhumpaLahirisâ€ŸsThe Namesake.
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