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

Assia Djebar's novel ***** of the New World, first published in 1962 (***** French) despite its being a work ***** fiction, contributes powerfully and in many important ways to our knowledge of the Algerian Experience. This novel also powerfully 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.

***** action of Children ***** the ***** 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 ***** 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 ***** time; the effects of the war upon its people, and ***** ***** psychological and human ***** of forced regime change, and ***** war ***** general. Djebar shows her characters in the most trying of circumstances, ***** (as often happens in ***** and in life itself) ***** identities and natures of the book's heroes and villa*****s alike are continually surpr*****ing.

Djebar begins Children of the New World (1962) with an account the death ***** an old woman, one of myriad civilian c*****ualties 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 place at ***** wrong time when a str*****y bomb fragment falls on her. This powerful beginning of the ***** foreshadows what will turn out to be one ***** ***** major themes: ***** of the enormous ***** often gratuitous cost of war: on an entire society and, by association, on all of *****ity.

Assia 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 novel, for example, features women and men of all types, i.e., a cross-section (albeit a limited one) ***** mids-1950's Algerian society. The characters *****, for example, an eclectic mix of feminist ***** traditional women; ***** scholarly men and men who are merchants; and of both supporters and opponents ***** ***** independence.

Many *****s Djebar's characters' motives and actions are ironically surprising, 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, ***** a political radical, as Djebar demonstrates vividly at one point, does not always make a man into a feminist as well; and a wo***** ***** wears a veil is ***** ***** less courageous, in her own moment of truth, than is one who ***** western clothing.

And, although the majority of ***** female characters are symp*****hetic *****, an Algeri***** informant,

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