Identity And Names Essay

959 words - 4 pages

“A sense of belonging is closely associated with identity, and names are crucial to identity.”
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A sense of belonging is made up of various elements, a secure identity being of them. Lahiri questions where is one’s identity found? Is it in their name, their heritage and culture or in their past or present? The Namesake represents identity as one fluid concept and a sense of belonging is closely associated with identity because it is the meaning of the names that can shape the individual’s identity and the clash of cultures can influence the how the individual searches for identity within their name.
When Ashima and Ashoke first move to ...view middle of the document...

” The source of his name is foreign and he feels that he has no relation or link to the name or heritage at all, along with that his pet name defeats the main purpose of a pet name, which is supposed to be intimate and private but after his first day at kindergarten when Mrs. Lapidus refused to call him by his good name ‘Nikhil’ and introduced him to the school as ‘Gogol’, his sense of identity is blurred after his two names are no longer relevant. “Not only does Gogol Ganguli have a pet name turned good name, but a last name turned first name. And so it occurs to him that no one he knows in the world, In Russia or India or America or anywhere, shares his name. Not even the source of his Namesake.” When two individuals share the same name, there is a sense of connection and belonging as they can relate to each other however, Gogol cannot relate to anyone causing him to feel alienated and lost because he cannot turn towards the meaning of his name to seek his identity. If his name is not shared or relatable, how can Gogol turn to the source of his name to find his sense of belonging and identity?
Names are crucial to identity because in a way the individual embodies the meaning behind their name, allowing them to feel secure within themselves because in a way they have a definition of who they are and this allows them to feel confident and shielded by their name because it is something that shapes their identity. At a young age Gogol associates a new name with a new identity and this is seen in his first day at Kindergarten as Nikhil, “Gogol doesn’t want a new name. He can’t understand why he has to answer to anything else …he is afraid to be Nikhil, someone he doesn’t...

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