Five Things About... The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (teacher edition)

This was my second time reading this novel and my first time teaching it. My students are about 2/3 the way through and, for the most part, really like it. They’ve been having great discussions and their quiz scores are pretty decent, so we’re off to a great start!

I’ve been having the kids track the different developments the main character has with his name in conjunction with his development/identity formation. They’ve done a great job making connections, combining the concept with different types of conflict, and even applying it to their own lives. 

Lahiri’s descriptive writing if full of figurative language, but the right amount. Some authors overdo it, while some deprive of us of imagery. Lahiri’s balance is perfect. There are is an endless amount of passages for the kids to practice analyzing the writing style, in an accessible, meaningful way. It does also ensure they read closely, so it’s forced some of them to slow down their reading.

Given the fact I teach seniors, the various romantic relationships Gogol finds himself involved with keeps the kids interested. They love criticizing his girlfriends, commenting on his parents’ role, offering hypothetical advice, and predicting the fate of each partnership. They’re going to start reading about his final relationship with a fellow Indian woman that his mom suggested he call- I can’t wait for them to learn the outcome!

The students are starting to see how there are so many connections at different parts of the text- they’re actually noting that Lahiri deliberately constructed her plot so that different threads would show up later to be tied up. They have complained that they think she moves through his childhood too fast, but I think part of that is because they like reading about younger protagonists.

No comments:

Post a Comment