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


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Children of the New World

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

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

***** action of Children of the New World (1962), however, instead takes place within just one day. In this brief period, moreover we are provided a vivid account of the lives of various characters inhabiting a small Algerian mountain *****wn, Blida, in 1956, two years into the Algerian ***** for *****, 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 th***** time; the effects of the war upon its people, and the high psychological and human ***** of forced regime change, and ***** war ***** general. Djebar shows her characters in ***** most trying of circumstances, and (as often happens in war and in life itself) the identities and natures of the book's heroes and villa*****s alike are continually surprising.

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

***** ***** Children of the ***** World (1962) is clearly a feminist *****s well an anti-col*****ial book, although never predictably, simplistically, or uncomplicatedly so. This novel, for example, features women and men of all types, i.e., a cross-section (albeit a limited one) ***** mids-1950's Algerian *****. The characters *****, ***** example, an eclectic mix of feminist and traditional women; of scholarly men ***** men who are merchants; and of both supporters and opponents ***** ***** independence.

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

And, although the majority of Djebar's female characters are symp*****hetic one, an Algerian informant,

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