“The identity cannot be compartmentalized; it cannot be split in halves or thirds, nor have any clearly defined set of boundaries. I do not have several identities, I only have one, made of all the elements that have shaped its unique proportions.” (Maalouf Deadly Identities)
I chose a section from Maalouf’s writing on deadly identities because as I read through the passage it felt as though he started out saying one thing and ended with saying something else. He states that an identity cannot be compartmentalized but it can have different elements that shape the different aspects of the identity. In my eyes I see an identity as having many different moving parts that do not necessarily flow together, sometimes they contradict each other and cause strife between the brain and the heart or stress on the identity itself. After reading through the article a second time, jotting down notes and questions in my red notebook, and discussing with my peers what Maalouf may be trying to express, I felt as though I had a better grasp on his point of view. There are many aspects that come together to form one’s deepest belonging. These aspects are not separate from each other, they blend together and work together to form a unique identity for an individual. Maalouf has had past experiences with others asking him about his identity, people wondering if he is French or if is he Lebanese, not really giving him the option of being both. I think Maalouf’s reasoning for saying that an identity cannot be split into halves or thirds is in order to readdress his point that there can be different aspects of an identity without them being split up. I think Maalouf’s passage discusses how to react to prejudice towards one’s identity. People want to hear that he identifies with one nationality more than another because they like clean cut answers and identifying with more than one is messy. However, Maalouf’s point is that these different aspects of the identity work together to make an individual who they are and without diversity we have the right to be worried about the way the world functions.