Honors Program

University Honors, Honors in English

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Karen Kornweibel

Thesis Professor Department

Literature and Language

Thesis Reader(s)

Matthew Fehskens, Lindsey C. King


Bharati Mukherjee’s 1989 novel Jasmine and Jhumpa Lahiri’s 2003 novel The Namesake both feature immigrant protagonists, who experience name changes and identity transformations in the meeting space of Indian and American cultures. Using the theory of cultural translation to view translation as a metaphor for identity transformation, I argue that as these characters alter their identities to conform to cultural expectations, they act as both translators and translated texts. Although they struggle with the resistance of untranslatability via their inability to completely assimilate into American culture, Jasmine and Gogol ultimately gain the ability to bypass the limitations of a foreigner/native binary and enter a space of negotiation and growth.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.