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Same Same but Different by Anne Hayden

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Same Same but Different

“Same Same but Different” is a short story in which Anne Hayden, the author, presents how a young woman, bereft since the death of her twin, tries to forge a new, singular identity. The themes of identity, loss and bereavement are explored throughout the whole short story. The story follows a female narrator whose indistinguishable twin, Molly, died after being hit by a car. Moreover, at the time when Molly was alive, she was dominating the twin relationship and often took the lead, thus making the narrator feel vexed and inferior.

The short story is set in Melbourne, Australia. It takes place in modern days since online dating is referred to. “Molly would have been so much better at this online dating thing.” During the short story, the narrator portrays different flashbacks from Dublin and New York. “I wanted a fresh start, (…) in a city like Dublin which is really just a big town” (ll. 40-41), and “When we met people in New York that summer, (…) Molly and I used to tell them we had twin’s telepathy, felt each other’s pain, that sort of thing” (ll. 55-56). It is mentioned in the text that the title, “Same Same but Different”, comes from a bar in New York. “We used to sing it together at a karaoke bar called Same Same but Different (…) in New York” (ll. 8-9). The title represents the narrator’s quandary in correlation with her relationship between her sister, Molly. Therefore, the title is symbolic of their twin relationship and it also symbolizes the narrator’s search for her own identity. The short story begins in medias res. “I’m sitting in a café in Melbourne when that song comes on, “When Will I Be Famous?”. There I am sipping a flat white, they love their flat whites over here, and listening to this Aussie lad bang on about how he’s really into minimal techno” (ll. 1-3). The language of the short story is plain and informal. Generally, the story is comprised of short and simple sentences, thus making the text uncomplicated and easy to understand. Furthermore, the words are short and there are also many contractions being used in the text, which in many cases indicates that a text is written in informal English.

When characterizing the narrator in “Same Same but Different”, it is important to consider the fact that Anne Hayden is conveyed by presenting her relationship with her sister, Molly, who were killed in a traffic accident in New York. When Molly was alive, she was dominating the twin relationship. “We used to sing it together at a karaoke bar called Same Same but Different (…) her on lead vocals, me on backing. We’d mock fight over which of us could have Luke Goss (…) Molly would get Luke and I’d have to settle for his slightly less handsome brother Matt” (ll. 8-12). In this quotation the narrator elucidates how she was always inferior to her twin sister, Molly. In an attempt to find her own identity, the narrator changes her appearance and moves to Melbourne, Australia. In the beginning, the narrator does not tell anyone about the fact that she has a dead twin sister. She is trying her absolute best to forget Molly, but she still can not stop thinking about her. The narrator soon realizes that she needs to incorporate Molly into her own identity. Since she is her twin sister, Molly will always be a part of the narrator’s identity no matter what and the narrator must accept that. “The online dating isn’t quite working either. The problem is it’s hard to reveal much of myself to anyone without explaining about the missing half. But I’m starting to accept that, whether I like it or not, my identity will never be entirely my own” (ll. 117-119). In this quotation, the author, Anne Hayden, elucidates how the narrator is finally willing to accept that her twin sister, Molly, always will be a part a part of her identity, thus enabling her to move on.

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