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 In the novel Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli travelled to America with a bright future in mind. They came from a small village in India, to now a big city in America. They are constantly being puzzled by trying to be Bengali in America and how others define them. They have no idea about the American cultures and are confused about living with the two cultures on hand. Ashima experiences her first delivery in America, with no one by her side, whereas in her home She is scared and not very confident. The protagonist of this novel, Gogol is defined by his Bengali identity and he is impacted by his family’s expectations of him. The ways that he is impacted by his family’s expectations of him are because of his name, relationships, and dissatisfaction. He is affected by his name greatly in the novel. The name Gogol was set by his father’s favourite author, which had a significant meaning to him. When Gogol was a child he didn’t understand the meaning behind names and the Bengali culture traditions. Gogol was very confused with his name and how he is identified, “It is very common for a child to be confused at first. Please give it some time. I assure you he will grow accustomed.” (59) He doesn’t understand what the difference between calling names and proper names are yet. “Why do I have to have a new name?” he asks his parents, tears springing to his eyes. (57), His name was his distraction from his life. His relationships throughout the novel have affected him emotionally and mentally. He has many ups and downs with his love life. His parents expect him to marry a Bengali woman, while he doesn’t think about their ethnicity. He was married to Mashumi by his choice but is not happy with his decision. “She accused him of nothing, but more and more he sensed her distance, her dissatisfaction, her distraction.” (271)They seem to argue about little things and aren’t getting along well. “They are not willing to accept, to adjust, to settle for something less than their ideal of happiness.” (276)  The dissatisfaction from moving to America greatly affects Nikhil, as well as his entire family. His mother Ashima is very unhappy, due to the fact that she stays home all day. While Ashoke was more confident about immigrating to America.”Thinking of his father living here alone in these past three months, he feels the first threat of tears, but he knows that his father did not mind, that he was not offended by such things.”( Throughout their life, they have had many ups and down. Their immigration to America affected them positively and negatively. Gogol was frustrated about his name and how his Bengali family traditions work. Gogol constantly tried to hide in school, due to his name. Gogol never accepted his name until he found out the reasoning behind it. He always struggled with his identity and how his parent’s expectations, differ from his own expectations of himself. He struggled with his name, relationships, and career throughout his life until he finally figured out the meaning behind it all.

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