| Quote #1
On more than one occasion he has come home from the university to find her morose, in bed, rereading her parents' letters.
Ashima's homesickness is a major source of unhappiness. Unlike Ashoke, who seems more comfortable with immigrating, Ashima is constantly comparing her life in the United States to her life in India. She's not unhappy because she doesn't fit in in America. She is sad because she grieves for the life she lost in India.
| Quote #2
For by now, he's come to hate questions pertaining to his name, hates having constantly to explain. He hates having to tell people that it doesn't mean anything "in Indian." (4.9)
Gogol is unusually self-conscious about his name and how it marks him as "different." But it's just a name, right? Why does he let it make himself so unhappy?
| Quote #3
It is a meal he knows it has taken his mother over a day to prepare, and yet the amount of effort embarrasses him. (6.105)
When he is dating Maxine, Gogol is perhaps the most self-conscious about his Indian heritage, and really tries to distance himself from it. How could he be embarrassed about his mother after all that work? If anything, Ashima should be embarrassed by his behavior.