Feeling of Alienation

The Namesake, is the story of the Ganguli family. Following an arranged marriage in Calcutta, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli move to the U.S. and settle in Cambridge and Massachusetts. Their story begins with the birth of Ashima and Ashoke's first child in America.   When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the results of bringing old ways to the new world.   They name him GOGOL after the Russian writer whose book has a lasting impact on their lives.

The story   continues to follow the newborn's life and the experiences of his mother, father, and sister as they are forced to adjust to American culture. the tension between adhering to Indian culture and imbibing American culture, between upholding family tradition and also wanting individual freedom and peace is evident.also to maintain the ties with India, and preserving the Indian tradition in America, meant a lot to them.
The theme of alienation, that is of being a stranger in a foreign land, is prominent throughout the novel.   Firstly its AShima who suffers from this feeling. Immediately after her marriage she moves into a foreign land with her husband and has little perception about the lifestyle of America. Since both Ashima & Ashoke are both first generation immigrants to stay in America, they make an effort to accept the new way of life in the country. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family.

  She suffers from nostalgia & and always feels a longing to go back to her motherland.   As Ashima waits to give birth to the first baby,   she yearns for her life back in Calcutta. She remarks that in India a mother giving birth would be surrounded by family and friends. The atmosphere in India then, is much more intimate than in Cambridge, where everything feels less personal and "colder" than back home. She feels deprived of the love   and care that she is used to.   With only Ashoke by her side, Ashima's feeling of...