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

***** Djebar's novel Children ***** the New *****, first published in 1962 (in French) despite its be*****g a work of 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 in particular, which lasted for six years, taking place between late 1954 ***** late 1962.

The action of Children of ***** ***** 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 town, 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 ***** 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, ***** (as often happens in ***** and in life itself) the identities and n*****ures of the book's heroes and villains alike are continually surpr*****ing.

Djebar *****ins Children of the New World (*****) with an account the death of ***** 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 ***** 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 one ***** Djebar's major themes: ***** of the enormous and often gratui*****us cost of war: on an entire society and, by association, on all of *****ity.

Assia ***** Children of 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 (albeit a limited one) of mids-1950's Algerian *****. The ***** *****, for example, an eclectic mix ***** feminist ***** traditional women; of scholarly men and men who are merchants; and of both supporters and opponents ***** Algerian independence.

***** *****s Djebar's characters' motives and actions are ironically surprising, which furt***** underscores the idea that, especially in a time of war, 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 ***** who wears a veil is not necessarily less courageous, in her own moment ***** truth, than is one who ***** western clothing.

And, although the majority of Djebar's female characters are sympathetic one, an Algerian infor*****t,

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