The Namesake

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Gogol’s first girlfriend, an English major at Yale whom he meets on the train home to Boston. The year after she and Gogol start dating (and become nearly inseparable), she decides to study abroad for a semester at Oxford, and then extends her stay over the summer. Although they stay together during her absence, when Ruth returns it becomes clear that something has changed between them, and they break up.
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Ruth Character Timeline in The Namesake

The timeline below shows where the character Ruth appears in The Namesake. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
On one crowded train ride home, Gogol meets a girl named Ruth, and the two of them talk the whole journey, discussing their backgrounds. Ruth’s parents are... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
All too soon they are apart for the winter holidays, and Gogol thinks of Ruth constantly. She had invited him to her house in Maine, but if he went he... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Family, Tradition, and Ritual Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
By the next year Gogol’s parents know about Ruth, but they are not interested in meeting her. Sonia, who has her own secret boyfriend,... (full context)
The Indian Immigrant Experience Theme Icon
Independence, Rebellion, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Identity and Naming Theme Icon
...Thanksgiving of senior year, Gogol takes the train up to Boston alone. Although he and Ruth spent the first few days after her delayed return together, when they returned to campus... (full context)