Gogol Torn In Different Directions Essay

1391 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. On page 59 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 it is the first time he is presented with the option to change his name. Gogol has a strong sense of self at this point and knows no other influences. Once he is exposed to the outside influence of school, he begins to realize his name is peculiar. This is where Gogol begins to have doubts about his name. He is experiencing the typical doubts and ensuing paranoia that accompany puberty. It is typical of adolescence to believe that everyone will pick you out because of a stray from normalcy. However, Gogol does not realize that the most an unusual name will evoke is fleeting thought. As a result Gogol does a very normal thing, he begins to change things about himself to test if his environment will respond positively or negatively. The abnormality is Gogol 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 begins to develop. On page 95 He has the positive experience with the girl he meets in the college dorm room after telling her his name is Nikhil, along with a few other choice lies. In a way, this is his first real step outside of his shell and he does it as Nikhil. As a result, he never gives Gogol a chance. If the situation was an experiment of sorts, it was 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 relates to the analogy of the plastic surgery. Gogol chooses to fix his 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, the text would imply 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? It is these thoughts that lead Gogol to legally change his name to Nikhil on page 102 before heading to college
Gogol has a fear of rejection. When thinking of Gogol’s life this fear seems more apparent. He never really distinguishes himself, an identity. In his life he has 3 main relationships. Of those three, he never chose the girl himself. The girl has approached him, which is the case with both Ruth and Maxine, or his mother set it up, which is the case with Moushumi. There is an interesting coincidence that his parents had an arranged marriage, to which as an American he is...

Find Another Essay On Gogol Torn in Different Directions

Little Parties Essay

1478 words - 6 pages character Gogol is shaped into Nikhil, and how Nikhil still remains Gogol. However fun these gatherings may have seemed, these ‘little parties’ killed Gogol’s spirit and Nikhil’s attitude. The social, cultural, and familial aspects of parties in the novel are different and affect Gogol’s life starting from his childhood, spanning to his teenage years, and ending in his adulthood. To start, the first party that Gogol ever attends is thrown in his

Satire and Critique in Dead Soul by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

1259 words - 6 pages and clever alike, are able to utilize such forms of humor and transform them into a means of stirring emotion within their audiences, in order to deliver logical, yet powerful messages. For centuries, authors have used satires as devices to not only ridicule, but to expose and criticize people’s stupidity and vices, often so in the context of character and demeanor. 19th century Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol was undoubtedly no different. Considered

Gogol's Values

869 words - 4 pages . In the end the Indian values were the most significant. Throughout the novel Gogol is affected by American values in many different ways. When Gogol came to America he changed in a big way. He became a very individual person. He didn’t act the same with his parents anymore because of this. It all began when he found out that his parents named him after their favorite Russian author Nikolai Gogol. He was very angered by this because as he got

The Name Sake

938 words - 4 pages said.” “…In America anything is possible. Do as you wish” (Lahiri, 100). Cultural conflicts seen in this passage is the naming of people from different cultures. Some names seem weird or different to others. In this case Gogol is not happy with his name and wants to change it. He wants to fit into American culture and wants to get rid of his Bengali name. The conflict Gogol is experiencing is due to his roots. Although he is Asian American he

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

2267 words - 9 pages with experiencing. Were Gogol placed in their position, he would surely be forced into a state of cultural displacement. In his youth, Gogol rejects the viewpoint of his parents for what he feels is socially acceptable for him. His convictions led him to date women who grew up in entirely different environments from him, most notably Maxine Ratliff. The

Digression in Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls

1744 words - 7 pages important to note how Gogol includes catalogues in his lavish descriptions; the example of the different coats epitomizes the author's style of rambling but meticulous imagery. Did Gogol ever actually comment on his purpose for verbosity and digression? There are contradictions on his part. Although Gogol seems to support elaboration and irrelevance for the sake of art, he denounces it as an effective literary technique. Popkin notes that

A Whisper of Change. Speaks of Nikolay Gogol's novel, "The Overcoat"

969 words - 4 pages failing to aid Russia in its quest for a better system. Gogol used his creativemind and his writing abilities to speak out against the evils of the Russian government. Heused symbolism to prove his points, and often risked exile by his own government forexpressing such radical views. Many different objects in The Overcoat can be mirroredwith the objects of true life. Everything from Akaky Akakyevitch's coat, to hisadministrator is used by Gogol to

The Namesake: Book by Jhumpa lahiri

1322 words - 5 pages the Howrah Bridge. It was good that that slight change was made because I think it helps compare the two different cultures; the one which he comes from and the one he moves into. They’re very different from one another. In the beginning of the film, Ashoke’s train has its accident and then it goes from that straight into his marriage with Ashima plus their process with migration and coming to the States. In the book, it opens with Gogol being

Gogol's The Overcoat: A Whisper of Change

961 words - 4 pages . He also criticized the other government of the world for failing to aid Russia in its quest for a better system. Gogol used his creative mind and his writing abilities to speak out against the evils of the Russian government. He used symbolism to prove his points, and often risked exile by his own government for expressing such radical views. Many different objects in The Overcoat can be mirrored with the objects of true life. Everything

The Components of Identity in The Namesake by Lahiri

1865 words - 7 pages "Nikhil" at school. However this then leads to confusing him and he has no interest in another name. He considers that depending on where he is he may need to be two different people then leading to him having two different names. "He is afraid to be Nikhil, someone he doesn't know. Who doesn't know him." (Lahiri ). During his adolescent years Gogol connects a new identity with having a new name. His unusual name does not bother him until he

An Almost Perfect Match in The Namesake by Jhumpa Latiri

814 words - 4 pages everything possible to get away from it. Previous girls Gogol dated were never Indian. He was initially attracted to American girls. The fact that they were completely diverse from his culture is what captured his attention. Dating someone who wasn’t closely related to his culture was an unthinkable thing to do in Bengali society, so it made Gogol’s reason to disobey flourish even more because to him it was exciting and exotic. Very similar to

Similar Essays

Gogol Lost Essay

1421 words - 6 pages theme of indecision is foreshadowed by the rice ceremony scene on page 40. Gogol chooses nothing as his path for life and instead when being impelled to choose he breaks down and cries. This is a microcosm of Gogol's life. He is being torn in two different directions. On one side lies family and tradition while on the other he tries to be contrasted from his family by being stereotypically American. While this war for control of Gogol wages it would seem that the real Gogol the person defined and distinct from those two expectations the person that baby had the potential to be has fallen through the cracks. At least thus far.

The Namesake By Jhumpa Lahiri Essay

1227 words - 5 pages Russian name, Gogol often encounters questions from people around him, asking the reason of his name. Gogol was not given an Indian name from his Indian family or an American name from the fact that he was born in America, to emphasize that how hard an individual try to assimilate into a different culture, he is still bonded to his roots as the person he ethnically is. In the conversation between Gogol, his kindergarten teacher, and Gogol's father

Immigrants In The Namesake By Jhumpa Lahiri

1493 words - 6 pages torn between two different cultures. The author enhanced this effect on the readers by the use of symbolism, making readers see objects in a different light. Having symbolism throughout the story make themes more apparent and easy to understand. Although Gogol is a character that is hard to admire, symbolism also reveals how compassionate he is through the hat that he gave Moushumi. Some may say it is just a small act of kindness but really he hat

Gogol's True Identity In The Namesake By Jhumpa Lahiri

836 words - 4 pages American tape rather than his Indian one. On Gogol’s birthday, his father sees the “Lennon obituary pinned to the bulletin board, and then a cassette of classical Indian music he’d bought for Gogol months ago, after a concert at Kresge, still sealed in its wrapper” (Lahiri 78). Even since Gogol was little he had always been a little different considering that he was born as an American, unlike his parents. His parents carry on their Bengali traditions