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EXPLORING
IDENTITIES OF
BENGALI - INDIAN
WOMEN
IN JHUMPA
LAHIRI’S THE
NAMESAKE
MARIA KRISTINA PINGKAN
1021150015
BACKGROUND
The Namesake (2003)
 The story of Bengali – Indian family in
America.
 Characters:
 Gogol Ganguli
 Ashima G...
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
 What is the traditional Bengali-Indian social
concept that rules woman’s roles, such as being a...
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
 To know the traditional Bengali-Indian social
concept that rules woman’s roles, such as being a
dau...
THEME
Edgar. V. Roberts (1999) Writing Themes about
Literature.
 the words and thoughts of the first-person speaker.
 th...
IDENTITY
 Identity is the distinctive character belonging
to any given individual, or shared by all
members of a particul...
Identification or self-categorization is divided into two (Culler,
1997)
process in life
(self something
made identificati...
IDENTITY &ROLE
 Role is “the function or position that somebody has
or is expected to have in an organization, in society...
BENGALI – INDIAN CULTURE TOWARD
WOMEN’S ROLES
As wives and mothers
* being pure,
* serving,
* nurturing
* sacrificing
As d...
BENGALI – INDIAN CULTURE TOWARD
WOMEN’S ROLES
GOOD NAME
(bhalonam)
* formal
* meaningful
NAME
PET NAME
(daknam)
* informal...
FEMINIST APPROACH
* WOMEN AS A SUBJECT
* OPPRESSION IN PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY
* BELIEF OF WOMEN’S EQUALITY
ASHIMA AND MOUSHUMI PERSONALITY TRAITS
Identific
ation
Traits Ashima Moushumi
Appear
ances
and
Behavi
ors
Appearances • he...
BENGALI – INDIAN CULTURE TOWARD
WOMEN’S ROLES
roles
dharma
As daughters As wives As mothers
being pure * pre-marital
chastity/
keeping
virginity
* limiting herself to m...
AS DAUGHTERS
dharma
As
daughters
Ashima Moushumi
being pure * pre-
marital
chastity/
keeping
virginity
• Ashoke is the onl...
AS WIVES
dharma As wives Ashima Moushumi
being pure * limiting herself to mixing
intimately with other men
beside her husb...
ASHIMA AS A NURTURING MOTHER
dharma example
loving & giving raising Gogol in America without any help from relatives
dedic...
THE SHIFT OF THE TRADITIONAL BENGALI-INDIAN
SOCIAL CONCEPT IN AMERICAN SOCIETY
 Ashima (point 3.3.)
 Independence  Ashi...
CONCLUSION
GOGOL’S
IDENTITY MOUSHUMI
(Modern)
ASHIMA
(Traditional)
BENGALI –
INDIAN
CULTURE
AMERICAN
SOCIETY
FORM FORM
ind...
T
H
A
N
K
Y
O
U
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Exploring Identities of Bengali - Indian Women in Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake

undergraduate thesis, faculty of letters, Christian University of Indonesia batch 2010, maria kristina pingkan, 2014

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Exploring Identities of Bengali - Indian Women in Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake

  1. 1. EXPLORING IDENTITIES OF BENGALI - INDIAN WOMEN IN JHUMPA LAHIRI’S THE NAMESAKE MARIA KRISTINA PINGKAN 1021150015
  2. 2. BACKGROUND The Namesake (2003)  The story of Bengali – Indian family in America.  Characters:  Gogol Ganguli  Ashima Ganguli (Gogol’s mother)  Moushumi Mazoomdar (Gogol’s ex-wife)
  3. 3. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM  What is the traditional Bengali-Indian social concept that rules woman’s roles, such as being a daughter, a wife and a mother?  How does this concept shift as the women live outside India are influenced by another culture, in this case by American society?  How do Ashima and Moushumi identify themselves through their personality traits and behaviors toward their roles, cultures, and societies?  How does a name reflect roles and beliefs of Ashima as a woman?
  4. 4. PURPOSE OF THE STUDY  To know the traditional Bengali-Indian social concept that rules woman’s roles, such as being a daughter, a wife and a mother.  To know how this concept shifts as the women live outside India are influenced by another culture, in this case by American society.  To know how Ashima and Moushumi identify themselves through their personality traits and behaviors toward their roles, cultures, and societies.  To know how a name reflects roles and beliefs of Ashima as a woman.
  5. 5. THEME Edgar. V. Roberts (1999) Writing Themes about Literature.  the words and thoughts of the first-person speaker.  the dramatic statements made by characters.  the degree to which characters may stand for ideas.
  6. 6. IDENTITY  Identity is the distinctive character belonging to any given individual, or shared by all members of a particular social category or group (Rummens, 1993)  Identification (identity theory) or self-categorization (social identity theory) is the formation process of identity (Skets & Burke, 2000)
  7. 7. Identification or self-categorization is divided into two (Culler, 1997) process in life (self something made identification) predetermined in birth (self something given identification) IDENTIFICATION
  8. 8. IDENTITY &ROLE  Role is “the function or position that somebody has or is expected to have in an organization, in society or in a relationship” (Hornby, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 2003) Personal Identity Group Identity Role Identity (Stets & Burke, 2000:224-237)
  9. 9. BENGALI – INDIAN CULTURE TOWARD WOMEN’S ROLES As wives and mothers * being pure, * serving, * nurturing * sacrificing As daughters *being pure * being obedient & respectful MARRIAGE
  10. 10. BENGALI – INDIAN CULTURE TOWARD WOMEN’S ROLES GOOD NAME (bhalonam) * formal * meaningful NAME PET NAME (daknam) * informal * meaningless Sircar. 1994. Personal Names in Bengali: A Selective Indexing
  11. 11. FEMINIST APPROACH * WOMEN AS A SUBJECT * OPPRESSION IN PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY * BELIEF OF WOMEN’S EQUALITY
  12. 12. ASHIMA AND MOUSHUMI PERSONALITY TRAITS Identific ation Traits Ashima Moushumi Appear ances and Behavi ors Appearances • height: five feet four inches •Pretty • slender face • middle-parted hair The way of dressing •wearing sari and salwar kameeze • wearing bindi • fashionable in Paris style Personalities • knowledgeable • active • brave • pleasant/ friendly • smart • active • brave Good name and Pet name Good name (bhalonam) Ashima Badhuri, Ashima Ganguli (the limitless) Moushumi Mazoomdar (the damp southwesterly breeze) Pet name (daknam) Monu Addition • cooking skill • housewive community • managing skill • academic and
  13. 13. BENGALI – INDIAN CULTURE TOWARD WOMEN’S ROLES
  14. 14. roles dharma As daughters As wives As mothers being pure * pre-marital chastity/ keeping virginity * limiting herself to mixing intimately with other men beside her husband being obedient and respect ful * choosing college & major * choosing husband serving * serving husband’s needs * being expert in household affairs nurturing * loving & giving * dedicating time to spiritual practices * giving counsel to younger family member sacrificing * engaging herself to her husband’s will * adapting husband’s name
  15. 15. AS DAUGHTERS dharma As daughters Ashima Moushumi being pure * pre- marital chastity/ keeping virginity • Ashoke is the only man touches her through the sweat of his feet (Lahiri, 2003:8) • seducing and having sex with several men, even strangers, before marriage (Lahiri, 2003:215) being obedient and respect ful * choosing college & major • not specifically mentioned, but she is an English tutor • choosing Brown instead of Princeton, the one her parents hope • having double degree, in chemistry and French Literature * choosing husband • through arranged marriage • her own decision conclusion • Obedient • Rebellious
  16. 16. AS WIVES dharma As wives Ashima Moushumi being pure * limiting herself to mixing intimately with other men beside her husband does not have affair having affair with Dimitri serving * serving husband’s needs cooking for her husband busy with her own schedule * being expert in household affairs cooking skills and maintaining home it is rarely depicted that Moushumi does household affairs sacrificing * engaging herself to her husband’s will no romantic words or physical affection yet she is so obedient to Ashoke let her husband alone in Paris and make him feel useless * adapting husband’s name Ashoke’s name is hers, her life and her world refuse to use Gogol’s last name as hers
  17. 17. ASHIMA AS A NURTURING MOTHER dharma example loving & giving raising Gogol in America without any help from relatives dedicating time to spiritual practices Puja Annaprasan Mourning diet giving counsel to younger family member worrying Gogol helping Gogol to find a wife for him
  18. 18. THE SHIFT OF THE TRADITIONAL BENGALI-INDIAN SOCIAL CONCEPT IN AMERICAN SOCIETY  Ashima (point 3.3.)  Independence  Ashima’s name  Social Life  Bengali-Indian acquintances  American friends in library  Moushumi  Lack of doing her roles as a Bengali-Indian woman
  19. 19. CONCLUSION GOGOL’S IDENTITY MOUSHUMI (Modern) ASHIMA (Traditional) BENGALI – INDIAN CULTURE AMERICAN SOCIETY FORM FORM independence social life wedding wedding TENDENCY
  20. 20. T H A N K Y O U

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