Semiotic Analysis of Train in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake

Tribhuwan Kumar


This paper makes a semiotic analysis of train in The Namesake, a novel by Jhumpa Lahiri who has been marked as a crafty painter of the sensibilities of Indian diaspora. The paper objectifies the thoughtful and vivid use of train by the novelist to match the emotional aspects involved with the plot. Lahiri has just not used trains as a means of transport but as a symbol to the sensibilities of diaspora. The paper commences with a small discussion on general purposes for which writers use trains in their works to project different concerns and later projects the vivid usage of train in the novel. There appears a variety of references to train in The Namesake, each pointing to the writer’s different motives behind its induction.  While at a point train shapes a person’s career, at other instance it ruins life. At some point it emerges as a symbol of faith, at another point it leads to deception. Through train, Lahiri projects kaleidoscopic images of the sensibilities of Indian diaspora in addition to gradual change and maturity. She is successful in associating train with emotional contours of her characters.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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