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The Namesake

The Namesake


Jhumpa Lahiri


Essay Lab | Math Shack | Videos

The Namesake Analysis

Literary Devices in The Namesake

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory


IndiaBoth Ashoke and Ashima come of age in the aftermath of the Partition of 1947, when India and Pakistan were granted independence by the British government at the same time that they were also s...

Narrator Point of View

Although The Namesake is written in the third person, we get the story through the filter of different characters' points of view, primarily those of Gogol, Ashima, Ashoke, and Moushumi. Thanks to...


Growing UpPrepare yourselves for an awesome revelation: In The Namesake, Gogol comes of age. That makes this novel a coming-of-age story. We know. We just blew your minds. All kidding aside, this n...


The characters of The Namesake sure do make a lot of mistakes. They keep secrets, make misguided decisions, and screw up just about as much as the rest of us. It's a good thing, then, that our narr...

Writing Style

If you're looking for flowery prose or ornate sentences, well, then turn around and head for Henry James. The Namesake, on the other hand is written with stirring simplicity. Just look at the first...

What's Up With the Title?

Who's Gogol's namesake? Nineteenth century Russian author Nikolai Gogol, that's who. Never heard of him? No matter. What's really relevant here is what he means to our Gogol, and that's a big fat n...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

"The reader should realize himself that it could not have happened otherwise, and that to give him any other name was quite out of the question." – Nikolai Gogol, "The Overcoat"We'll tell you wha...

What's Up With the Ending?

In some ways, the story ends in the same way that it begins, with Ashima preparing a traditional Indian dish. This small parallel reminds us of all the ways in which the Ganguli family has changed...


This one is very readable. Some passages might seem a little tricky to follow if you are unfamiliar with Bengali customs, but the novel explains each custom as you come across it in the text.

Plot Analysis

It's a boy!Ashoke and Ashima give birth to a healthy baby boy. All is well except for the fact that they don't have a name for him yet. Oops. Guess Gogol will have to do. Little do they know that e...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

An odd name makes for a miserable kid.Gogol is born with a name he despises, and he grows up wanting to distance himself from the Indian culture and customs of his parents that produced his strange...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Gogol grows up resentful of his first name, which is neither Bengali nor American. To him, it represents how disconnected his Bengali family life is with his American life outside the home, and how...


Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli are based on Jhumpa Lahiri's parents, Amar and Tia Lahiri. Oh, and Ashoke's train accident is based on a similar incident that happened to one of Amar's cousins. What's th...

Steaminess Rating

There's some nudity in here when Gogol has sex with his girlfriends, but the story always cuts off before things get too racy.


William Wordsworth, "The Daffodils" (1.20)Nikolai Gogol (1.27, 4.44-55, 12.25-6)Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome (4.41)F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (4.41)Pearl Buck, The Good Earth (4.41)Stephen...

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