The Name Says It All. Many Names Have Meanings Connected

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The Name Says It All Many names have meanings connected to them, like the name “Erika” having the meaning “ruler.” In Amara Lakhous’s novel Divorce Islamic Style, there is a strong focus on the importance of names, which are used as the first and foremost way to describe a character. These characters, such as Christian, Sofia, and various minor characters, are described and developed according to the names they have been given. One of the first characters we are introduced to is Christian (alias Issa). Both Christian’s birth name and “spy name” have meanings that represent his character. His birth name Christian has the literal meaning of “a Christian” (Behind the Name). His spy name, Issa, is the Arabic form of Jesus (Lakhous 34). …show more content…

For instance, Christian listens to Saber’s passions of soccer and Simona Barberini and learns about his dreams (Lakhous 71). Christian even listens to the story of an upset student who could not get room at the building (Lakhous 66-67). Christian lives up to both his birth name and his spy name, by exhibiting the characteristics of Jesus (Issa) and ultimately the ideals a Christian is to uphold. Christian’s names are a major descriptor of his characteristics, as well as having some irony to them as well.
Another character whose two names help describe herself is Sofia, or Safia. Sofia’s birth name, Safia, relatively means “pure” (Behind the Name). Her European name, Sofia, means “wisdom” (Behind the Name). Both names describe the character Sofia, although her European name is perhaps the easiest to see and most commonly used of the two. Sofia shows her wisdom throughout the novel. The most often time when this is shown is when she discusses the beliefs and teachings of Islam, such as her understanding and explanation of maktùb, where she shows a great amount of thoughtfulness in how destiny cannot be subverted but can be changed by God (Lakhous 31-32). She understands that while she cannot change destiny, and it will happen no matter what, it can turn out unexpectedly due to the hand of a higher power. She also shows wisdom when understanding the “battles” of marriage, such as when she argued with her husband about wearing the

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