Non-Western Literature

Reading Journals for Mahfouz, week 1


click on the journal question that intrigues you the most.
This will pull up a form for you to fill out responding to that journal.
  1. Explain, as completely as you can, the views towards women in Arab culture 50 years ago, at least as shown in this novel. Based on what we see in this first part of the novel, what are the options available to women at this time?   click to answer

  2. THESIS: the significance of the old man storyteller in the opening chapter (he's never mentioned again) is that he represents the past, and the old ways of doing things which the residents of Midaq Alley are moving away from. AGREE or DISAGREE, citing evidence either way.    click to answer

  3. One of the important elements of this novel and culture is the class structure inherent in everything these characters do. Explain as best as you can what the class structure is in this society and how it affects the characters.   click to answer

  4. THESIS: Zaita is a disgusting character to us, but he serves a very important and significant role in the culture of Midaq Alley, as is shown by the respect shown him by the people he has crippled. AGREE or DISAGREE, citing evidence either way.   click to answer

  5. Egypt was part of various empires, including the British, up until 1937, then entered into WWII as a protectorate of the British Empire. It wasn't until after WWII that Egypt really began to decide its own rulers and laws again. Thus, this novel is set in a sort of limbo-twilight zone between actually leaving the British Empire in 1937 and actually being on their own after WWII. Explain how this background is reflected in the novel. Explain as completely as you can, using evidence from the works whenever possible.    click to answer

  6. What are the responsibilities of men in Egyptian society, according to this novel? Think in terms of the soliloquies we read from characters like Salim Alwan, Radwan Hussainy, Abbas, and Ibrahim Faraj about their responsibilities and relationships.    click to answer