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Double Faces

In: English and Literature

Submitted By AymanShaheen
Words 1013
Pages 5
Double Faces

A compare/Contrast Essay

Ayman Mohammad

Writing Studies 101

Ms. Sana Sayed

March 12 2014

Double Faces “There is a deep inside each one of us, one ‘belonging’ that matters, our profound truth, in a way, our essence’ (Amin Maalouf, 2012, p. 66). These were some few words explaining what every ones true identities are and how Maalouf strongly believes that each and every one of us must scout deep down inside of ourselves to seek for our true uniqueness and for our pure individualities. This is not an easy task for anyone. Firoozeh Dumas, another author had to face the consequences of her actions when she impersonated dual identities. Although Amin Maalouf and Firoozeh Dumas are similar in having dual identities, they differ becuase Firoozeh moved to America while Amin flew off to France, and because Firoozeh changed her name while Amin kept his.
Amin and Firoozeh had to impersonate dual identities in order to fit into their new society. Dumas had to embody another identity for her to be able to meet the requirements of the American society. Trouble was around the corner waiting for her to show up and neither she, nor her family expected that they would ever face problems concerning their names, raise, and origin. For instance, Dumas had to deal with the consisting mockery regarding her awkward name, as the kids in her fifth grade used to call her “Ferocious” instead of Firoozeh. Furthermore, Dumas’s brothers Farshid and Farbod had to deal with the same inconvenience where Farbod’s name was changed to “Farthead”, and Farshid’s name somehow has been turned into “Fartshit”. Thereupon, Dumas and her brothers saw that the only solution to this big knot was for them to change their names to an American name that was easily pronounced and cannot be made fun off. However, Dumas had to pay the price for her decision, as her beautiful new name Julie Dumas had made things worse on the long run due to the complication’s between who she really think she are, and whether to be called Firoozeh by her own relatives or Julie by her coworkers. Finally, she decided to untie the big knot and turn back to her original name convinced that there is nothing to be ashamed and that everybody should be proud of his name and his own unique identity. Similarly, Things weren’t going so well for Maalouf. To explain, People there in France kept asking him annoying questions about where he do really belong to and consistently he kept saying that he belongs to both countries, France and Lebanon. In fact, he can’t really say that he belongs to Lebanon while he already lives in France and he can’t say that he is French either while he is originally from Lebanon. So he was almost at the edge of the cliff as he stated, “This is why I am myself and not another, at the edge of two countries.” (Amin Maalouf, 2012, p. 66). Moreover, he also states that identity cannot be split into two parts nor it can be defined by a set of boundaries, but it represents all the elements that have helped in shaping its own defined proportions. In the end, Amin thinks that having dual identities isn’t a bad thing for a person to have but it’s also not a good token to be proud of. Although both authors have similarities, they contrast in changing their names as Firoozeh changed hers to Julie Dumas, While Amin kept his original name untouched. Firoozeh was originally born in Iran and immigrated afterwards to the US with her family and along with her luggage; problems had traveled across the oceans to face her in every aspect she could imagine. For instance, all the kids in fifth grade used to call her “Ferocious” as a mockery to her real name. In addition, her name itself was considered as “unpronounced” in the American culture due to the complexity in just trying to pronounce a part of it but not all of it. For these reasons, Firoozeh had chosen to change her name to Julie Dumas which made her life much simpler and more enjoyable on the short term. Conversely, that option didn’t even approach Amin’s mind at all even though he lived in a different country than the one he was born in because he clearly said that, "Whoever claims a more complex identity becomes marginalized." (Amin Maalouf, 2012, p. 66). So Amin didn't face any issues or complications that might led him to change his name.
Another difference noted between the two authors is that Dumas moved to American while Amin traveled to France. Firoozeh is an Iranian woman who had to travel to America along with her family where she got married to an American guy and settled there for good. None of her family expected that travelling to America would turn their life upside down and would be frought with all the challenges that they faced. In spite of that, Dumas and her family have managed afterwards to puzzle out all the conflicts they faced and were able to refurbish their life in order to adjust with the American society. On the other side, it wasn't easy for Maalouf to leave Lebanon after 27 years and to travel to France. His journey was surrounded with a can of worms that almost drove him out of his mind. To illustrate more, People kept on asking him questions about his true identity and what country he really do belong to as I mentioned earlier. Beyond that, they kept on spectating his loyalty to whether he belongs to France or Lebanon or both. Certainly, he was able to overcome these problems and become a highly appreciated successful writer.
After all, Dumas and Maalouf might have some similarities in common, such as when both of them had to embody dual identities, but they differ a lot in the society that each had to travel to and in the way that each of them reacted to the complications corresponding to that.

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