The Namesake

the namesake: jumpa lahiri

critically discuss Lahiri's presentation of Ashima's in the opening of the Novel.

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However, the novel is written in the third-person voice, the implied point of view changes. This allows background information to be provided almost anecdotally. When Ashima's point of view is implied, Ashoke appears to the reader as he might to Ashima; likewise, when Ashoke's point of view is implied, the reader experiences the other characters as they seem to Ashoke. When Gogol begins to develop a reasoning mind, his point of view begins to be implied as well. This technique gives the story depth, as it unfolds as if told by the characters.

The important theme of name and identity is introduced at the very beginning of Chapter 1, when Ashima calls out for her husband from the bathroom. She doesn't use his name when she calls for him, since "it's not the type of thing Bengali wives do." Their husbands' names are considered too intimate to be used. In Chapter 2, the Bengali tradition of pet names, or daknam and "good" names, or bhalonam, is explained. Only close family uses the pet name in the privacy of the home, while the "good" name is used in formal situations like work. Ashima and Ashoke have to give their son a pet name as they wait for the "good" name suggestions to arrive from Ashima's grandmother, but the letter from Calcutta never comes.