Study and Discussion Questions for Chapters 10-12 of Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake

As you read the final three chapters of Lahiri's novel, consider how the assimilation and naming thematic concerns are completed--or left unresolved. To what extent has each of the central characters--Ashima, Gogol, Sonia, and Moushumi--functionally assimilated to American culture and to an American identity? To what extent do the differences among them, their differing degrees of self-satisfaction and comfort with who they are, lay bare the issues central to notions of double consciousness and twoness? To what extent are the difficulties faced by these characters particular to their Bengali heritage, and to what extent are these difficulties common to most immigrants and their immediate descendants? Consider the following events and issues: