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 ***** the ***** World (1962) Contributes to Our Knowledge of the Algerian Experience

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

The action of Children ***** ***** 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 ***** various characters inhabiting a small Algerian mountain *****wn, Blida, in 1956, two years into the Algerian War for *****, and against French colonialism.

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

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

***** Djebar's Children of the New World (1962) is clearly a femin*****t as 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 one) of mids-1950's Algerian society. The characters *****, for example, an eclectic mix of feminist ***** traditional women; ***** scholarly men and men who are merchants; ***** of both supporters and opponents of ***** independence.

Many *****s Djebar's characters' motives and actions are ironically *****, which further 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 *****ly at one point, does not always make a man into a feminist as well; and a woman ***** wears a veil is not necessarily less courageous, in her own moment of truth, than is one who wears western clothing.

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


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