Literature, Language, and Life

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Blogpost on Endings: Maps Part 2 (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.”

As I stated in my previous blogpost, “Maps” is a story of Askars coming of age. in the second part of this novel is where the plot really begins. Askar has a family. He is living with his uncle and his wife. 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.

But now that we have reached to the second part of the novel, it is evident that there still isn’t a clear ending. The scenes still continue to end abruptly. This represents the cutting short of lives, the dismemberment of war.

For example, on page 152, Hilaal decides to burn his research and then the conversation is cut. After that, Askar becomes ill after ending the conversation with Karin on page 177.

On page 196, a light bulb goes “pop,” then on page 221, Askar and Hilaal are left stranded in a car where the ignition cuts off.

The ending of the novel is unclear because it reflects backward and forward to the beginning of the novel, specifically the first page. This unclear ending reflects the theme of self identification, and the idea of the various points of view.


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