Second Side to the Protagonist

Starting from the middle of Chapter 3, the Namesake is filled with the main character Gogol talking about how much he hates the idea that he has to take Bengali classes, that his mother always invites families over on Saturdays  that no one can pronounce his name, and that they have to travel back to Calcutta for 8 months. I personally find this too be very annoying and only see it as Gogol complaining and being completely arrogant. 

Gogol’s character does not understand that there are thousands of immigrants who WISH they had the opportunities to go back as often as he does to go and see their families and spend time with them. These families are stuck in a position where they do not have the money to take their entire family of four to go and show them their home country, their traditions, and their large families who miss them and are tired of only seeing pictures. Gogol constantly complains that he despises his name because no one can pronounce it and that he doesn’t even understand why he was given the name Gogol. Maybe, if he was to not be so distant from his parents and culture then there would be more opportunities for him to learn the story behind his name. And the entire idea that he finds it embarrassing that no one can pronounce ‘Gogol’ seems to be a great exaggeration to me because, it is a fairly simple name to pronounce compared to other Arabic and even other Indian names. 


2 thoughts on “Second Side to the Protagonist

  1. Good post!

    This reminds of that “Grass is always greener on the other side” thing. Everyone’s like: Once I get this or be this it’ll be so much better! People just want what they don’t have, they can’t appreciate what they do have. If we’re going full-tilt Marxist, it’s the evolution of Consumerism and the idea that not only could something be “Bigger and Better”, but that it HAS to be in order to hold any value. Gogol has access to his family and homeland so he just takes the opportunity for granted wanting something more for his time. He feels that he is being mistreated by being subjected to these “tortures” but it’s only because he doesn’t see the true fortune and value in his situation.

    Honestly, people just need to take a step back and be like; “Wait…Do I have any right to be complaining about this?”

    Because 83% of the time, they don’t.
    …also 83% of all statistics are made up


    • You’re completely right. The fact that Gogol constantly complains about the fact that he goes back to Calcutta so many times is one of the main reasons why I find his character so annoying. I made this post mainly because it bothers me so much that I haven’t been able to see any of my family in Iran for over 10-14 years, yet he goes every few years and still complains.

      And when it comes to his name, personally, I am glad that I have a name which can be tied back to my culture, at times I even wish I had a more Persian name like ” Daryah” or “Leila” because I really like telling people where I’m from and how my culture is, I don’t see why Gogol tries to hide it so much. Even when he tells his parents that he’s going to change his name, he FINALLY realizes that NO one has ever actually made fun of his name or culture, it’s all in his head and it seriously bothers me.

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