Study Guide: The Namesake

III. The Plot Develops: Chapter 3 to 12

Chapter 9

A. General Understanding

As you read this chapter, try to answer these questions:

  1. How do Moushumi and Nikhil´s wedding plans show that they cannot ignore their Bengali heritage?

  2. How does Nikhil learn to appreciate his parents´ courage on the occasion of his own wedding?

  3. How and when had Nikhil proposed to Moushumi?

  4. What kinds of cash wedding gifts do Bengalis give?

  5. What name does Moushumi sign the marriage license with? How might this decision have had something to do with her interest in French feminist theory? Why had Nikhil secretly hoped that she would have been more conventional when she signed the marriage license?

  6. Why do Moushumi and Nikhil go to Paris in March? Why does Nikhil admire Moushumi and even resent her for having spent years in Paris "reinvent[ing] herself" (233)?

  7. Why does Moushumi´s smoking habit start to annoy Nikhil? How does Moushumi react to him when he shows his concern for her health?

  8. How does Nikhil assess the lifestyle of Moushumi´s Brooklyn friends, Astrid and Donald? Why is Moushumi so loyal to this couple? Why does Nikhil distrust them to a certain extent?

  9. In a conversation about naming babies at Astrid and Donald´s, what information does Moushumi share with the people there that makes Nikhil angry? How does Nikhil contribute to this conversation about "the perfect name" (244)? How does Moushumi react to his remark?