Thursday, July 15, 2010

An Honest Exit by Dinaw Mengestu

An Honest Exit by Dinaw Mengestu

There are two exists in Dinaw Mengestu's story in which both man intentionally leave something behind to take back their identity and through this their dignity. Their exit is described as honest since it is departure from their compliant roles.

The son who teaches at a prestigous class leaves behind a job he feels he has unwittingly played the part of a trained monkey teaching class concerning a history which is not his own effacing his own identity as a black man. His father's death acts as a catalyst for him to grasp at his own immigrant history to reaffirm who he is.

Then there is his father who is forced to play the compliant puppet obeying Abrahim in order to leave Africa but who once in Europe rebels reassuming his independent identity and his desires.

Then their is also the fact that there is something not so honest about either mans exit from their former behavior. The father is breaking a pact he agreed to maintain with Abrahim, and the son has invented parts of his father's history. In order to be true to themselves, as adults, they realize that things are not so simple as the son students beleive them to be and that sometimes being honest is not a luxury we always have.

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