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Relationship of Gogol and Maxine, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 912

Essay

Dear Maxine,

Hello, it’s me, Nikhil. I am writing to you after all this time to apologize to you for the way things happened between us when we broke up, and to explain to you a little bit about me so you will hopefully understand why I did some of the things I did. I always felt really bad about how our relationship ended, and I don’t feel like I ever really told you some of the things I was dealing with when we split, or some of the things I had to deal with when I was growing up. Because of my heritage I have spent a lot of my life trying to figure out who I am, and how I fit in with American culture even though I  am come from a background that is very different from the way a lot of people I know grew up.

At the time we were together I was trying to be someone I was not, or was at least trying to figure out if maybe I was so different from my family that I had to find a life that was different from their life. My relationship with you exposed me to a lifestyle that I had never seen before, and I was really amazed by it. The house you lived in with your parents was beautiful, obviously, and was very different from the one I grew up in. When I was a kid my parents bought a four-bedroom house. I can still remember sitting in the office at the bank when they signed the papers. We were the only Indian family in the neighborhood; all the other people had very American sounding names. The houses were really close together, which was very different from your parent’s house. It was always so quiet and peaceful at your parent’s housed, and I used to love just sitting there and reading or listening to music. My parent’s house always seemed noisy, and there were always people coming and going all the time.

Part of figuring out who I am and understanding my own identity had a lot to do with my name. My real name is Gogol, and was just supposed to be a private family name, like a nickname. When I was younger I did not mind that name so much. I remember being in school and the teachers would call me Gogol. My parents wanted them to not use that name, but I didn’t mind. In fact I remember the teacher asking me if I liked being called Gogol, and I said yes. When I got older, though, I started to not like my name. I told my father about that, and he said that Gogol had become my good name, and that I should be happy with it. He also told me, though, that I could change it if I wanted to, so I went to the courthouse and had it changed to Nikhil.

Part of becoming comfortable with myself meant that I had to come to terms with my name. When my father died, I know I pushed you away. I did not let you come to Calcutta with me, and I know that hurt your feelings. You were still very patient with me after that, and I should have treated you better. You once heard someone call me Gogol, and you asked me what that meant. But I didn’t tell you, and that was part of me trying to reject my own heritage. My father named me Gogol after the Russian author Nikolai Gogol because he was reading one of Gogol’s books when he was almost killed in a train crash. He was trapped in the rubble, but was able to signal for help by dropping a page from the book onto the ground, and the movement caught the attention of his rescuer. So the name was always important to him, and as I got older I finally realized that it is important to me too. Hiding my name from you was something I wish I had not done, but I can’t change the past. Now I go by Gogol again, and I am happy to be using the name my father gave me. I just want you to know that I am sorry for anything I might have done to hurt you, and I hope that you have a happy life.

Love,

Gogol

Rationale

Gogol and Maxine seemed like they had a good relationship for a while, but it was obvious that part of what Gogol liked about Maxine was that she came from such a different world, and it was a world that Gogol thought he might want to be a part of. He was always trying to figure out who he was as a person, and for a while he pushed his family away when he was with Maxine. When his father died I think Gogol felt guilty about the way he had been treating his family, and he started to spend more time with his mother and his sister. At the same time he began to push Maxine away, and they eventually split up. I think Gogol would have felt guilty about that, and would want Maxine to know that he really did care about her and that he was not just using her. Their time together helped him figure out some things about himself, and I think he would want to apologize to her and explain what she meant to him.

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