Literature, Language, and Life

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The Title 2

“Titles could indicate a theme or suggest an intriguing mystery or promise a certain kind of setting and atmosphere.” Says Lodge (194).


After getting into the second part, and the reader gets to Askar moving to Mogadishu. This involves the use of the word “maps”, this is because it shows movement from one place to another. In page 178 of Maps, Askar is having a conversation with Uncle Hilaal about the different religions and different places. This relies back to Lodge’s point, how the title shows setting and/or a certain kind of setting. When the reader is looking at the countries mentioned, a different image will be taken and a different setting is seen with each country. In page 180, Askar speaks of the different images he saw when different countries were mentioned. How he has a Mongol Emperor riding a horse, and how he saw abandoned dead bodies and cursed the Russians, Cubans and Adenese for it. He speaks of all these countries, giving off different locations, which changes the setting and their atmosphere. In page 227, Askar says “(in my map, the Ogaden was always an integral part of Somalia.)”. In the same page Uncle Hilaal asks Askar “Do you find truths in the maps you draw?” This helps give the value to the title, this shows that it is not simply about having locations and how to get to places but more rather having meanings and goals on those maps.



Novels have always been commodities as well as works of art, and commercial considerations can affect titles, or cause them to be changed.” Says Lodge (195).


After stating in the first blog, how a simple, short and one word title gives off a mysterious meaning and a bigger attraction to the reader. In the third part of Maps, the reader finds out that a map is not simply about a location and that it is more than that to Askar specifically. The fact that a map can hold meaning and truth behind it with different ideas, but can also be used to identify locations and relating different settings by comparing one to another or just looking at one alone; in Askar’s case a map is a paper that holds meaning. Lodge’s point about a title being art would relate to Farah’s decision of titling the book “Maps”. That is the art of the book and what holds meaning to Askar.



In the first blog it was stated how the title is a very important part of the book and that it holds most meaning and idea to the book. In the third part of Maps, that point was proved after finding out what a map is to Askar and the discussion of it with his Unlce Hilaal.

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