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Narrative Structure: Lodge’s ideas applied to Part 2 of Maps

Lodge’s states: “ The structure of a narrative is like the framework of girders that hold ups a modern high-rise building: you cant see it, but it determines the edifice’s shape and characters” (216).

 Looking back at this I still agree with structure being the core of any given work. It is what keeps a working piece together and aligned. Applying this to part two it makes more sense now then it did before because the story is structured in a more chronological sense meaning it tells more of a story. Part two begins with a introductory to Askar living in Mogadishu with his Uncle Hilaal and Aunt Saalaado. He starts to bond with both his relatives in a way that reminds him of how he felt around Misra, this ties his childhood and adulthood together, and the flashbacks and flash-forwards that are presented. This reflects back to the quote that Faarah presents in the interlude:

“ Life can only be lived forward and understood backward” Kierkegaard.

This quote emphasizes the idea that part 1 of the novel is being represented as a backward analysis of Askar’s life, and as of part 2 of the novel we can fully experience Askar’s life, as he is himself. Once more we can see that the narrative structure reflects the overall theme, and maybe even helps construct the theme itself.

“ He was in a garden which was lush with foliage and plants with memories of their own. And he recognized the tree that had the same birthdays”.

‘ Askar remembered who had planted the tree- Misra”.

Here Askar is having a flashback to the tree that was planted one the same day he was born, and he feels connected to this tree because it is Misra who planted, which emphasizes the deep relationship that they both share with one another. This reflects the bitter and pain he feels about how he treated her when she came to visit, and now that she’s done he can’t come to terms with himself. The end of the novel points both backwards and forward with all the shared memories from the beginning of the story. The narrative basically beings where it ends, and again the structure is spinning in circles. It’s as if the chronological order that has finally been made has been destructed. Askar’s search leaves off unknown, Misra is gone forever, and he continues to drown in guilt and can’t forget her.

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