Literature, Language, and Life

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Ending: Lodge’s Ideas Applied to Part 1 of Farah’s Maps (Mariam)

In David Lodge’s chapter about endings, he begins by stating that “conclusions are the weak points of most authors” and that “to victorian novelists endings were apt to be particularly troublesome, because they were always under pressure from readers and publishers to provide a happy one.” Lodge then proceeded to say later in his chapter “As the novel progressed I became increasingly conscious of the problem of how to end it in a way which would be satisfying on both the formal and the narrative levels.”

I agree with these statements as they are evident throughout Farah’s novel. “Maps is a story about Askars coming of age. It does not have a definite time. So the reader does not know when the beginning or the ending occurs. The novel was published in 1986, which was two years before the events supposedly occurred. “Maps” is an ongoing of a series of events that has no resolution.

As stated in a previous blogpost abut beginnings, there are two parts of this novel for a reason, and that is the development of the theme of self identity. The ending of the first part doesn’t give the reader any satisfaction, because it is not meant to end there. the purpose of an ending is to satisfy the reader/ audience. The scenes of the novel end unexpectedly. This suggests that the narrator feels there is a heavy burden as he seeks to recall events from his memory.

There isn’t a resolution or definite ending because the main focus isn’t a beginning, middle, and ending, but the journey of self discovery. Askar has intense emotions. He wants to find his identity, but is afraid of failing. This is evident when the narrator states:

” He acknowledges this stress” (pg. 40).

” My head, I feel sometimes, will explode.”

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