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David Lodge’s Chapter on Implication in Reference to Maps Part 2 (Dena)

An implication is a conclusion that can be drawn from something, without it being explicitly stated. This technique is usually used when the author is speaking or describing something that is taboo or inappropriate/ an innuendo in the culture or society.

After reading Part 2, many of my questions were answered. Part 2 was different and varied from Part 1 in the way that the story and plot appeared to be happening in reality and less in Askar’s mental state. However, what remained the same was Farah’s use of implication in the character’s dialogue to conceal the intensity of certain issues and problems in the society’s structure and standards.

For example, in Part 2 Askar continuously mentions Misra’s menstruation cycle and blood. I believe that blood is a recurring motif in the book and is symbolic of guilt and regret. Since Askar keeps mentioning Misra and her blood, it could be implied and concluded that Askar feels regret and remorse for not believing in Misra; and going against her by trusting Karin. Askar always mentions the taste of blood in his mouth and that is usually mentioned whenever someone mentions Misra or something reminds him of her. This could definitely imply that he feels regret and shame for his actions toward her.

Implication also comes hand in hand with metaphors. Askar brings up being Misra’s third boob and leg again, which reinstates the connection that was lost while she was away. This connects to what I previously said in the first blog post about Farah uses implication along side metaphor to symbolize the oneness and wholeness of their relationship. This helps indicate and convey the theme of the second part of the book, Askar and Misra’s reconciliation and reunion.

It can also help in referring to social and cultural issues, such as oppression and identity crises/self-discovery. In part 1 I said that implication was used to conceal the intensity of some social standards that were corrupt or unethical. However, that switches in Part 2 because in this division Misra explicitly states and describes her oppression and her rape scene. I think that this oppression is blatantly describes and is presented to the reader straightforward to help them sympathize with her, providing empathy and a reason for Askar’s need for reunification. Another reason was that in the book the division between Ethiopians and Somalians is clear and evident. Ethiopians are dehumanized and presented as sub par to the rest of the community. So by blatantly stating Misra’s rape, it could lead to her dehumanization and her separation from the rest of society. Lodge concludes his chapter by stating, “it is better, much better, guessed at than described.”


7 Comments

  1. kbdoyle09 says:

    If the theme of the second half of the novel is reconciliation and reunion, what do you make of the ending?

  2. nour97 says:

    Very interesting interpretations of the implications made my Farah. Originally I did not make much of Askar’s unusual attention given to Misra’s menstrual cycle, I found it very interesting that you believe that blood symbolizes guilt felt by Askar. I would also like to add to your interpretation about the openness when describing Misra’s rape and oppression in part two. This implication is helpful when referring to social and cultural issues. I feel as if the openness of this topic actually dehumanizes Misra. Culturally, raping the woman could be considered the act of making the woman impure, and the woman is to blame, therefore the openness of this topic makes Misra a “nonperson”, which supports the idea Somalis have about Ethiopians being less human. To answer Ms. Doyle’s question, I also believe that the theme of the second and third parts is that of reconciliation and reunion. In that case, the ending is completely fitting because in part 3 Misra had already died. The reunion happens when Askar accepts Misra’s death as an extension of her life. Just like Amina stated, Askar comes to realize that there is life in death. 

  3. alzahra97 says:

    Interesting blog post, it was very insightful
    I would like to add to your idea of the dehumanization of Ethiopians. It is a common societal interpretation that when someone is raped they have been violated and dehumanized. Many people try to hide the fact that they were raped because they believe it to be very shameful. Farah choosing to explicitly state that Misra has been raped adds a ‘shameful’ and ‘dehumanized’ aura to Misra’s character, along with her questionable betrayal. This only adds to Misra seeming less human, along with her Ethiopian ethnicity.

  4. ozy96 says:

    This is a very interesting view good job. Although your view on blood is that it is a symbol for guilt and regret is quite interesting i would point a out something. Askar states in the first part of the novel that “Water: I associate with joy; blood: not so much with pain as with lost tempers and beatings. But I associate something else with blood — future as read by Misra. Once I even made a pun — my future is in my blood.” (p 36). Is it possible that Askar simply associates blood his future tied to the fate of Somalia in the bloody war?

  5. ksaxx8 says:

    I enjoyed reading this post. The symbol of blood was seen to be future or past as I read about how Askar sees it. The view brought here is very interesting, it brings more ideas to the table as well as new ways to see Farah’s decision making as well as what he shows and hides. I like Osman’s comment as well, because symbolism plays a big role to showing what Askar thinks. The association of water and blood, one being joy and one being time period (past and future).

  6. aminanahavandi says:

    Very interesting point Dena! I like how you tied the literary features into the implications. For example, when you said that the symbol of blood, which is brought up frequently by Askar, is a symbol of regret for the way that he treated her when they first reunited. I think that you made a really great point there; especially because I noticed that he mentioned tasting blood more and more after Misra had disappeared. As for the point that you made about cultural and societal issues, and how some things are less implied (and more literal and clearly stated) in the second half of the book, I would definitely agree. I think that in general, part two is less confusing and more straightforward. However, I believe that there are still some ideas that are implied in part two, such as the relationship between Misra and Askar. They have a bumpy start but eventually patch things up and mend the relationship. This whole process is implied through Askar and Misra’s interactions and stated explicitly. So to put things simply, I believe that part two is less explicit than part one, however everything in part two is not completely explicit.

  7. idrisarahman says:

    This is really interesting Dena. This helps explain a lot of the comparisons that Askar makes to Misra in part 2 and how that relates to the theme. I like how within this genre-specific feature, it is easy to show social/cultural connections as you stated. I think that implications are especially essential in deriving meaning from the text because it puts it in perspective whether that be in relation to the setting or in relation to another character. I think that assuming/implying what a character really means also shows us that everyone has a different way of understanding the text. Within part 2 of Maps specifically, we can see how the implied meaning of Askar’s actions and words show how he regrets not automatically reconnecting with Misra and how much he missed her. This in a way unites the dichotomy in Askar’s character because I think that through his whole journey of trying to figure out who he is he felt like he had to choose between Somalia and Misra and in this part through implication we can see that they are both a part of him and that makes up who he is. He doesn’t feel the need to keep them separate anymore.

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