Essay On False Identity In The Book Of Chameleons

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In this world filled with ambiguity, conscious of it or not, many people wear multiple masks to conceal who they really are. False identities may be used to cover up insecurities, gain credibility, or even status. Whatever the reason may be, when an identity is fabricated or stolen and given to someone else, does that person become the new identity, or would the identity be a mere mask over the person’s true character? Jose Eduardo Agualusa’s fictional story, The Book of Chameleons: A Novel, indicates that people seek comfort through hiding behind new identities. The narrator of the book is a chameleon that lives in the home of Felix Ventura, a genealogist. Felix is in the business of creating false identities for people for them to adopt and imposter; we are given examples of…show more content…
When people create masks to hide their flaws, it may happen that they outgrow their masks. A simple analogy would be an insecure girl is embarrassed to tell her friends that she is single, so she makes up a fake boyfriend. She then gets over her insecurity and admits that it was a lie. There is always a reason for someone making a false identity, and when that reason no longer exists, people shed their masks. This is evident when Jose Buchmann finds Edmundo Barata dos Reis. It was because of this man that Buchmann longed for a new identity; naturally, when he sees revenge within his grasps, he casts aside his facade as Buchmann. Then he forces Edmundo at gunpoint to tell Felix and Angela his real identity, “...Gouveia. Pedro Gouveia. I should have killed you back in seventy-seven” (157). Buchmann confesses to buying his false identity from Ventura all for the purpose of laying low while he pursued Edmundo to kill him. Once he no longer had any need to lay low, he once again became Gouveia, the man driven by
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