The Namesake Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Who else visits the baby Gogol in the hospital?

2. Why does Gogol/Nakhid take a class in Indian novels written in English?

3. What was Ashoke doing the day he almost died?

4. Why doesn't Ashoke explain how Gogol came about his name when he gives him the book by Nikoli Gogol?

5. How does Gogol/Nakhil feel when people who used to call him Gogol use his new name?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Gogol react to the gifts he receives at his fourteenth birthday party?

2. What did Ashoke swear to do during his long recovery from the injuries he received during a train wreck when he was a young man?

3. What does Gogol decide to do when he turns eighteen?

4. Why does Ashoke choose the name Nikhil for Gogol when he begins school?

5. How do Ashima and Ashoke feel about Ruth when they learn of their son's girlfriend?

6. What happens when Gogol wants to see his girlfriend, Ruth, over the Christmas holidays?

7. At college after changing his name, how does Gogol react to being called by his new name?

8. How does Gogol feel about his family during visits home from college?

9. Why is Ashima afraid while in labor?

10. Why doesn't Ashima's grandmother name their grandchild as Ashima and Ashoke requested?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The author's descriptive style of writing is simple and straight-forward, helping her win a Pulitzer Prize. She uses it for both the story itself and to describe the settings. Do you believe this style works for both? Does this style work to delve deeply into the character's minds? Tell why you think the way you do. Did she do a better job of describing Indian immigrants or every-day native-born Americans? Tell why or why not. Cite examples from the novel to support your case.

Essay Topic 2

Moushumi experiences much the same cultural ambivalence as Gogol. Explain why this is so and cite scenes from the book that show this ambivalence.

Essay Topic 3

Moushumi enters the book somewhat late in the story and doesn't remain to the end, but she is central to the development of Gogol's character. Trace her actions through the story. Why does she act as she does? Are her actions pivotal to the plot or can the story follow the same course to the same conclusion without her character? Why or why not? Support your answer with examples from the book.

(see the answer keys)

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