The paper explicates the modest attempton the fragmented identity crisis faced by the immigrants from India in JhumpaLahiri’s Namesake. The fragmented identity crisis may occur at any time toadulthood basically challenging the sense of authentic self-hood. This identitycrisis had paved way of diaspora writing in South Asian literature.
The objective of this paper is to show theperplexed idea about quest of identity crisis. This identity generally leaves personal struggle with self-discovery.The keywords: Fragmentation, namedualism, self-discovery, alienationIntroduction The Identity crisis is defined as distress anddisorientation especially in adolescence resulting from conflicting pressuresand uncertainty about one’s self and one’s role in society. The identity of a person moves with thecultural changes. This world is ever-changing world and all the people contain adifferent fragmented identity crisis. The Fragmented identity crisis came intoaccount as a result of modernity. Themodernity and modernistic thoughts have connection with an identity crisis. Modernitywas the reason for the fragmentation identity crisis.
Some other factorsinclude urbanization, industrialization. Capitalism etc. The fragmentation can happen only to thecommunities we live in. Living in between, this identity crisis is very painfulas it creates cultural discouragement. The Identity crisis is related toeveryday life. The name definitely signifies one’s identity. What if the namefragments one’s identity? Does it have anything to do with our identity? Fragmented identity crisis in Gogol’s life Jhumpa Lahri is one of the most influentialdiaspora writers of modern times and acclaimed for novels based on identitycrisis. She won the Pulitzer Prize for her first novel interpreter of maladies.
Most of her novels deal with the themes of immigration,territorial influences, etc. Namesake is simply a novel of identity. Namesakewas published in 2003 and considered one of the best novels and later was an adaptationof Hollywood film with the same name. Namesake identifies the fragmentedidentity crisis faced by Gogol an immigrant from India. The Identity crisis isthe central theme of the novel. The novel is about Gogol the protagonist and sensitiveboy who is in quest of his identity.
Gogol is born to immigrants from Bengal. Heis named after writer Nikolai Gogol. Bengali children are given two names: agood name and the pet name. In the novel nickname is the name used by familyand good name for the documentary and for the world.
The concept of name dualismis one of the major factors of identity crisis. Gogol’s character is skillfullyassimilated into a tie between two generations. The problem with fragmentedidentity is they don’t detach from the past, and they don’t connect with thepresent. In the novel Gogol aka Nikhil is a symbolizationof fragmentation of identity crisis. The dualism of nicknames and a good nameis a contraction to Gogol’s life. Throughout Gogol’s life he faces lots ofdistress and his life becomes fragmented. He lives in two different worlds simultaneously,but doesn’t identify his real world. He is linguistically tied and ancestrally separatedto Calcutta.
His inner thoughts are only preoccupied with self-discovery andprocess of naming. Gogol finds himselfin a fortunate position, and he was not able to find a property of holding inthe society. “There’s no such thing as a perfect name.
Ithink that human beings should be allowed to name themselves when they turneighteen,” he adds. “Until then, pronouns.” Jhumpa Lahiri, The following lines show Gogol’s attitudeto name. He is more radical than his parents that are accustomed to Bengali culture.Thus name really has something to do with a person’s life.
Gogol frequently identifies thecrisis in different stage of his life from college life to his love life. He notices children in school now and againmaking fun of his name, and he starts to feel uncomfortably conscious of strangenessand alienated. On the other side, hebecomes more comfortable with the customs of America.
The interactions andinheritance to new customs and his thought process like Americans lead a changein attitudes. He discovers himself onlyafter the death of his father. Gogol is in the horns ofdilemma encountering his American and Indian identity which is fragmented.
Gogol is a reflection of Lahri as an immigrant in the novel. Lahri had identifiedGogol as an alien with only the strength of family. This identity crisis isalso faced by Gogol’s mother Ashima as something called homesickness. After, a roller coaster ride Gogol had gainedto reaffirm faith in life. Conclusion “When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.
” ? Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man Identity is a subject to be changed becauseit doesn’t have a fixed criterion. The novel’s ending is neither happy norsorrowful. Gogol discovers his identitywhich was fragmented with the ancestors and geographical tie. In the end Gogol’sidentity doesn’t rely on his family and the American society. As, a characterof this modern world Gogol is a perfect example of global identity.
As a result the writer had portrayed theworld problems of the immigrants.