Over time, as I delved into Askars world and Lodge’s unique yield on it, I predicted early on in part 1 of Farah’s Maps that Askar would finally experience epiphany, finally come to the understanding/ powerful realization and measly sense of who he truly is. Reading on and on, conflict followed by no resolution was a common pattern that had taken its course. However, in the sense of epiphany, a climax/resolution was finally found in part 2 of Maps. From chapter 6 after the interlude to chapter 9, a wide and vivid description was emitted all having to do with Askars reaction to receiving his “identity card” from his uncle which was sent from the government informing him of physical features and characteristics which he didn’t realize he ever had, and which, in turn, also separated him from Misra.
It’s as if Askar is born all over again, but this time, with an actual recorded birth certificate which stated his full name, precise height and weight, etc. As Askar sunk his “new identity” in, he expressed his relief and puzzlement that came along with finding out about himself, even if they mostly included physical identifications.
Rewind to part1: Askar distinctly narrated that he did not care about physical identifications. He did not care whether he was a boy or not, whether he had male characteristics or not, whether he was his own physically existing individual as the only identity description he had only included 10% of who he was and 91% of who Misra was. Even then his 10% was a scam to himself as that fraction of his identity still had to do with how he related to Misra. As long as his identification description is filled up with Misra-esc traits, that is all he cares about, that is all he identifies with.
Because I have become attached to the aspect of Epiphany, my expectations became quite high as to how Askar would experience epiphany towards the end of the novel, or if he would ever undergo it. Though epiphany occurred, I must say I felt “iffy” about it. I was both disappointed but ecstatic at the same time. My disappointment emerged from the route of the epiphany..the “identity card”. I felt saddened and discouraged due to the fact that Askar had finally come to realize who/what he is only because government officials told him so on a piece of paper. Keeping political and social matters in mind, Askar grew up with the misfortune of being surrounded by people who didn’t stop him from religiously believing he was a piece of another human being. Keeping in mind all of his environmental circumstances, I understand that the identity card is more of a golden ticket to departing from his internal confliction journey. My happiness shined through as I felt and witnessed the birth of a new Askar whom didn’t identify himself with Misra anymore; a new Askar who is perfectly content with being his own two legs, his own two arms and his own chest.
Questions for thought:
***Might the epiphany still be unclear? Is the “identity card” but a step closer to experiencing true epiphany as to who Askar truly is without using the card as a solid identity description?