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The Namesake

  • Date Submitted: 10/07/2012 04:13 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 68.1 
  • Words: 321
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Ashima: Alienation and Isolation

In the beginning of this novel, Ashima gives birth to Gogol in a foreign country; a place where she knew no one and knew very little about the culture and the country. She gave birth to her first child with no family members around her, which was extremely difficult for her. “I don’t want to raise Gogol alone in this country. It’s not right. I want to go back,” (Lahiri 4) says Ashima to Ashoke when she gets home from the hospital. Because Gogol was not born in the country Ashima and Ashoke are from, Ashima feels that his birth is “only half true.” I think that because Ashima knew she wouldn't be able to raise her son in her own country, he will be different and grow up acclimated to the American culture and she is not sure how she feels about that quite yet. “Hey, the Indian lady forgot her stuff,” (Lahiri 46) Ashima hears someone say as the train pulls away. Not only does Ashima herself feel isolated and indifferent, but when she hears this it just makes it worse. By hearing someone say this, it reminds her that she “doesn’t belong” and almost shows how people pity her for it.
Ashima not only feels isolated, but she also feels very alone and depressed. For example, when she is living alone on Pemberton Road. She does not like this feeling and says she “feels too old to learn such a skill. She hates returning in the evenings to a dark, empty house....” (Lahiri 161). After the one person who was always by her side is dead, she had no choice but to try to adapt to living on her own, which she had never experienced before.   Ashima experiences bouts of depression, mourning her husbands death, she also thinks that Ashoke was teaching her how to live on her own when he left her.

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