Gogol Lost Essay

1421 words - 6 pages

As Gogol grows up we can use his name as a window to his psyche. When Gogol is young he does not mind his name. When he goes for his first day of school he does not want to be called Nikhil or anything else he knows himself only as Gogol and this is what he demands to be called this is important because this is the first time he was presented with the option to change his name. He has a strong sense of self at this point because he has known no other influences. Once he is exposed to the outside force of school he begins to doubt his name he realizes that it is peculiar. This is where he begins to have doubts about his name. He has these doubts because he is experiencing the typical doubts that accompany puberty and the ensuing paranoia. It is certainly normal to think that everyone will pick you out because of any stray from normalcy. Until you realize that for the most part the most an unusual name will evoke is fleeting thought. Gogol does what in many respects is a very normal thing he begins to change things about himself seeing how his environment responds positively or negatively. The abnormally is that he has the option of changing his name whereas most would not even consider it in a serious capacity.
It is at this point that the problem of identity truly begins to develop. He has the positive experience with the girl he meets in the college dorm room after telling her his name is Nikhil. In a way this is his first real step outside of his shell so to speak and he does it as Nikhil. By doing this though he never gives Gogol a chance. If as proposed the situation is an experiment of sorts it is flawed by the changing of more than one variable. He changed his extraversion and his name in the same experiment. This confound leaves the possibility that it was him that the girl was responding to not the name. However Gogol assumes a "don't mess with success" mentality which leads him to making a superficial "fix" to his personality. This again relates to the analogy of the plastic surgery. He chose to fix the confidence problem with a total overhaul of self. It is possible that this one moment has an echoing effect in his life. If he still sees himself as Gogol as he did in elementary school and the text would imply that he does by referring to him as such throughout then think of the implications. would it not at some level of consciousness mean that Gogol is never good enough, or never approved?
Gogol has a fear of rejection. When thinking of Gogol life this trend seems more apparent. He never really distinguishes who he is. In his life he has 3 main relationships. Of those 3 he never chose the girl himself. Either the girl has approached him which is the case with both Ruth and Maxine or in the case of Moushumi he was set up with by his mother (There is an interesting coincidence this fact shares that his parents had an arranged marriage which as an American he along with the rest of us are resistant of.) By defaulting to convenient...

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