Wedding Sound

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade December 2001

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Does plays really reflect our lives? Is our life just a play in which we play different roles? In the book Wedding Song, the author Naguib Mahfouz told a story about the difference between life and drama/play. To me, plays may just be sections of our lives being put on stage so that we can relive or rethink about it. Plays may have turned reality into something more idealistic yet true.

What is the truth? Maybe from different people's point of view, truth can mean different things. In the book, truth was revealed by four people. It described the life of a young boy Abbas Karam Younis. The events happened were the same, and yet, "the truth" were so different.

As Abbas grew up in the big old house with his parents, the author described how love became hate, beauty changed to ugliness, loyalty into treachery, and idealism into debauchery.

Abbas always wanted to become a playwright. He turned in many plays, but all of them have been turned down. Finally, after the death of his wife and son, he started a new play, a play which reflected the realistic in his life into idealism in his mind. He used every people he knew in the play and made things happen in the way of his idealistic world. He told the audiences that he threw his parents into jail, killed his wife and son, and then committed suicide himself.

"This is no play! It's a confession. It's the truth." said by Tariq Ramadan--one of the actors of the play, after he had a meeting about the play Abbas wrote and was going to perform it on the stage. Tariq realized all the characters in the play were real person in real life. "I become absorbed in my role. Rehearsing that murderer's play, I relive my life with Tahiya, from its beginning backstage and the old home in the gravel market where we made love in my room; to the denunciation of Karam and Halima, and finally to my crying at her funeral."(p 36) For Tariq, the play brought him success, and he relived his life through the play. To him, the play is the truth that he always wanted.

From Karam Younis, father of Abbas, he realized how he has changed from a positive caring person into a person who was addicted to opium. "He presents me as someone fallen, a man who has resorted to corruption in reaction to the challenge of reality."(p 77) That's how Abbas described his father in the play that he wrote. In reality, Karam did change into a fallen man after he started to take opium. To him, the play brought him understanding of the truth, but he'd rather the truth to be something that he never confronts.

In the play, Halima, Abbas' mother, was described as a woman who would sleep with other men for money. "Events unfold one after another, and my agonies come to life before my eyes; now nothing is left of them except the memory of having sighs."(p112) After Halima saw how her "only hope" thought about her, she found herself in hell. In her life, the truth is, she had only slept with two men, and one of them raped her. The play didn't tell the truth, and perhaps nobody knows the truth about her except herself.

In Abbas' own point of view, he's the one who threw his parents into jail, and he's the one who killed his wife and son, just because he wanted to do so. He didn't appreciate the life his parents lived in, and he didn't wanted the baby, because of his fiancé problems. "I didn't want that to happen. However, being afraid, with our limited income, that it would interfere with my life as an artist, which was dearer to me than anything else in the world..." (p 156) Then after his baby and wife died, he wrote the play. In the play, he told everything that was supposed to happen; he told everything in the way he wanted it to happen. He didn't tell the truth, but he made everyone else believed in what he has told.

What is the truth? Can we really tell what the truth is? If everyone believes in something that is unreal, does that make "something" the truth? I don't know. In the book Wedding Song, there was obviously just one truth. The only question remains, whose story/whose opinion, was the truth?