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

Assia ***** novel Children of the New World, first published in 1962 (in French) despite its be*****g a work ***** fiction, contributes powerfully and in many important ways to our knowledge of the Algerian Experience. This ***** also ***** describes ***** 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 of ***** 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 ***** war in Algeria at th***** time; the effects of the war upon its people, and the ***** psychological and human cost of forced regime change, and of war ***** general. Djebar shows her characters in the most trying of circumstances, and (as often happens in war and in life itself) ***** identities and n*****ures of the book's heroes and villains alike are continually surprising.

Djebar begins Children of ***** ***** World (1962) with an account the death of ***** old woman, one ***** myriad civilian casualties of ***** Algerian War. 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 str*****y bomb fragment falls on her. This powerful beginning of the novel foreshadows what will turn out to be one of ***** major themes: ***** of the enormous and often gratuitous cost of war: on an entire society *****d, by association, on all of humanity.

Assia Djebar's Children ***** the New World (1962) is clearly a femin*****t as well an anti-colonial book, although never predictably, simplistically, or uncomplicatedly so. This novel, for example, features women and men of all types, i.e., a cross-section (********** a limited one) ***** mids-1950's Algerian *****. The ***** *****, ***** example, an eclectic mix of feminist ***** traditional women; ***** scholarly men and men who are merchants; ***** of both supporters and opponents of Algerian independence.

Many times Djebar's characters' motives and actions are ironically surprising, which further underscores the idea that, especially in a time of w*****r, neither others' appearances nor one's own ********** 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 ***** well; and a woman who wears a veil is not ***** less courageous, in her own moment ***** truth, than is one who ***** western cloth*****g.

And, although the majority of Djebar's female characters are symp*****hetic *****, an ***** inform*****t,

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