Sunday, November 14, 2010

Moushumi's Commitment Issues in Chapter 9

In Chapter 9 of The Namesake, Moushumi’s refusal to adopt her husband’s last name struck me as odd and I have much to say on the topic. In what I now know of the Indian culture, marriage represents a deep commitment between the two individuals, mainly with the wife dependent on the husband. I do not agree with the reliance of the wife on the husband, but I feel the adoption of the husband’s last name shows a transition to a new life, one where the two make up a family.  So when the narrator stated that, “she is not Mrs. Ganguli, Moushumi has kept her last name,” I felt her choice displayed her lack of commitment to her marriage and to Gogol (227). In my extended family, my Aunt Siobhan married a Greek man with the last name of Karamouzis. A mouthful of a name, my aunt was a much bigger fan of her maiden name, Moran. With her professional career and the life she had already created under the Moran surname, she did not want to completely change over to Karamouzis. In the end, she kept her old name and adopted the new one, making her name Siobhan Moran- Karamouzis. Since the decision only pertained to her, when their children were born they all only adopted the last name Karamouzis to honor the tradition and show her commitment to the family they created. I felt Moushumi should have taken a path similar to that of my aunt’s, one which keeps the old name, yet displays the commitment to a new marital life. Moushumi’s justification centered on her professional life and the hardship of having a hyphened joined last name. In the book, she has been characterized as independent and I believe she does not adopt the last name Ganguli to resist the Indian culture of her parents and maintain her individuality.

No comments:

Post a Comment