Alloplastic and Autoplastic Adaptation in The Namesake
Ashima Ganguli is a woman who was originally born in India. She moved to America after marrying Ashoke Ganguli, a student of Ph.D. program, who later teaches in a university town outside Boston. Although she lives in America, she does not want to put off her Ganguli culture. She dresses in Sari, puts a red-dot on her forehead, and eats traditional food. Her lifestyle is based on what she has learned in her hometown. Ganguli culture is glued in her blood, and this strong culture in her makes her family become together. She is the culture balancer at home. However,she thinks that she does not belong in the Uncle Sam country. She always compares the culture of where she came from and where she is now. In India,there were so many relatives she could depend on. However, in America, she has no one except her husband, Ashoke. Her first moment of experiencing this loneliness is when she gave birth to her first baby. She had no relatives to accompany her in the hospital. She was desperately sad with that condition and thought that she did not want her child to be raised in a country where Ganguli culture was not implemented. However, Ashoke succeeded in calming her down. She and Ashoke always have a particular way of loving each other. She can always count on Ashoke and their utterly private, uncelebrated love.
Moushumi Mazoomdar is a woman who has his own terms to live. She is originally an Indian but decided to live on her own in France for a long time. She is a smart pretty girl with an Indian face. However, many people mistake her as a French because her life style, attitude, and way of speaking do not reflect her as an Indian. She has the character of an independent free woman. Bonds and strings are not suitable for her. She is also a woman who is not afraid to take risks to get out of her comfort zone, which later on leads her to break her marriage.Basically, she and Gogol have so many things in common. They are both Indian,they both have artistic tastes, they both have fraught relationships with their foreign names, and they both went to elite universities. However, these common things make Moushumi feel she is trapped in a comfort zone. She thinks that her marriage is a boundary that disjoints her from freedom. Therefore, she takes risks to have a contentment by cheating on Gogol with a guy whose name is Dimitri.
Ashimaand Moushumi are Indians who moved to a foreign country. Originally, they are minority among majority, which means they have to adjust themselves with the majority. Moushumi succeeds in it. She adjusts and adapts herself with the culture that she does not own without any significant difficulties. She even seems enjoy the free life that she now has; without boundaries of traditions and norms. Therefore, she is included in autoplastic category. She changes herself to fit in the new place she now lives in. However, it is different with Ashima who thinks that she is miserable living in America. She keeps thinking about going back to Ganguli to live apprehensive about her own culture and tobe closed with her relatives. She thinks that she is not suitable with American culture. One of her reasons is because she does not want her children, Gogol and Sonia, to grow up in a place where Indian culture is not implemented.Therefore, she is included in alloplastic category. She cannot adjust herself in a new place, but wish her new place to change toward her instead. Yet, after the death of Ashoke Ganguli, Ashima starts to understand the western culture she lives in and to accept her children’s western way of life. When she wants to go back to India, she realizes that India is now a strange place for her, and America is the place she now belongs to.