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 Djebar's novel Children ***** 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 novel also ***** 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 and 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 War for Independence, 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 ***** ***** psychological and human cost of forced regime change, and of 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 villa*****s alike are continually surprising.

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

***** Djebar's Children of the New World (1962) is clearly a feminist as well an *****ti-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 society. The ***** *****, for example, an eclectic mix of feminist ***** traditional women; of scholarly men and men who are merchants; and of both supporters and opponents ***** Algerian independence.

Many *****s Djebar's characters' motives and actions are ironically *****, which further underscores the idea that, especially in a time of war, neither others' appearances nor one's own 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 ***** who wears a veil is ***** ***** less courageous, in her own moment ***** truth, than is one who wears western clothing.

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

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