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The Namesake: Gogol's Identity Crisis
Transcript of The Namesake: Gogol's Identity Crisis
Looking at Gogol's relationship history it comes out clearly that in the beginning, his relationships are all about straying from tradition. He wants to be American. He dates girls that have nothing to do with or know anything about his true culture and tradition. He strives to make an American identity for himself.
While Gogol is in a relationship with Maxine, he chooses to stay as far away from his family and their traditions as possible. He becomes very close to Maxine and her family, as well as her family's American ways. When his father passes, it brings him back to reality. He realizes that he has been too far from his ways and his family for too long, and that he needs to step up and make a change.
When Gogol marries Moushumi, that is when he is truly accepting his traditions and roots. He is doing what his family desires for him. But in the end, Moushumi had an affair, leaving Gogol feeling like a failure.
In the end, these experiences seem to make Gogol realize that he can't allow the way others live make him want to change his identity. And here he starts to find his own way, as he begins reading the book that his father gave him, and learning more about his namesake.
Throughout the book, Gogol seems to have problems figuring out who he is, and who he truly wants to be. And that comes out in his several relationships.