Essay - Children of the New World How Assia Djebar's Novel Children...

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Children of the New World

How Assia Djebar's Novel Children of the ***** World (1962) Contributes to Our Knowledge of ***** Algerian Experience

***** Djebar's novel Children of the New *****, first published in 1962 (***** French) despite its being a work ***** fiction, contributes powerfully and in many important ways to our knowledge of the ***** Experience. This novel also powerfully describes ***** circumstances, and the high human cost, of the Algerian War for Independence ***** particular, which lasted for six years, taking place between late 1954 and late 1962.

The action of Children of ***** New World (1962), however, instead takes place within just one day. In this brief period, moreover we are provided a vivid account ***** the lives of various characters inhabiting a small Algerian mountain town, Blida, in 1956, two years into the Algerian War for Independence, and against French colonialism.

It is through Djebar's characters' interactions and interpersonal relationships that we come to better understand life during the war in Algeria at ***** time; ***** effects of the war upon its people, and the high psychological and human ***** of forced regime change, and of war in general. Djebar shows her characters in ***** most trying of circumstances, and (as often happens in ***** and in life itself) the identities and n*****ures of the book's heroes and villa*****s alike are continually surpr*****ing.

Djebar begins Children of ***** ***** World (1962) with an account the death ***** an old woman, one of myriad civilian c*****ualties of ***** Algerian *****. This woman is killed right outside her own house, standing in her courtyard, in fact, and is simply ***** the wrong ***** at the wrong time when a stray bomb fragment falls on *****. This powerful beginning of the novel foreshadows what will turn out to be one of Djebar's major themes: ***** of the enormous and ********** gratuitous cost of war: on an entire society *****d, by association, on all of *****ity.

Assia ***** Children of the New World (*****) is clearly a feminist ********** well an anti-col*****ial book, although never predictably, simplistically, or uncomplicatedly so. This *****, for example, features women and men of all types, i.e., a cross-section (*****lbeit a limited *****) of mids-1950's Algerian society. The characters *****, for example, an eclectic mix of feminist ***** traditional women; of scholarly men and men who are merchants; ***** of both supporters and opponents of ***** independence.

***** *****s Djebar's characters' motives and actions are ironically surprising, which fur*****r underscores the idea that, especially in a time of war, neither others' appearances nor one's own assumptions about others are necessarily reliable. For instance, ***** a political radical, as Djebar demonstrates vividly at one point, does not always make a man into a feminist as well; and a ***** who wears a veil is not necessarily less courageous, in her own moment of truth, than is one who ***** western cloth*****g.

And, although the majority of ***** female characters are sympathetic *****, an Algeri***** infor*****t,


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