Exploring Bicultural Ambivalence in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake: Representational Diasporic Identities in Indian Anglophone Fiction

  •  Hassan Bin Zubair    
  •  Nighat Ahmed    


This paper explores the cultural ambivalence and bicultural identity issues in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake. This Indian Anglophone novel carries different diasporic sensibilities. Issues of marriage and culture are very prominent with the importance of family relationships in the context of immigrant feelings and loss of identity. Unconditional love and acceptance of family relations emerge victorious at the end of the narrative. The writer shares the second generation migrant experience since they were born to parents who immigrated and settled to United States. While migrants from some of the Asian states, mainly those characterized by most recent immigrant waves, have really worse socio-economic situation than average immigrants; Indians people are rather prosperous minorities. Theories presented by Bhabha, Clifford and Appadurai about culture and diaspora support this research. Lahiri do not portray immigrants’ lives as a struggle to survive but rather concentrate on their affiliation to the country into which they arrived and also on their relationship with their American-born children. This research is helpful to know about the concerns associated with the liminal space and issues related to identity loss of first and second generations and living with a bicultural identity.

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