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 ***** ***** the New World, 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 ***** Experience. This novel 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 and late 1962.

***** 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 War for Independence, 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 cost of forced regime change, and of war ***** 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 ********** Children of the ***** World (1962) with an account the death of an old woman, one of myriad civilian c*****ualties of ***** Algerian War. This woman is killed right outside her own house, standing in her courtyard, in fact, and is simply ***** the wrong ***** at the wrong time when a str*****y bomb fragment falls on her. This powerful beginning of ***** novel foreshadows what will turn out to be ***** of ***** 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 feminist *****s 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 *****. 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.

Many *****s Djebar's characters' motives and actions are ironically surprising, which further underscores the idea that, especially in a time of *****, 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 ***** well; and a woman who wears a veil is ***** ***** 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 one, an Algerian informant,

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