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

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

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

Assia Djebar's Children of the New World (1962) is clearly a feminist as 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 *****) of mids-1950's Algerian society. The characters *****, for example, an eclectic mix of feminist and traditional women; of scholarly men and men who are merchants; ***** of both supporters and opponents of ***** independence.

***** times Djebar's characters' motives and actions are ironically surprising, which further underscores the idea that, especially in a time of war, neither others' appearances nor one's ***** *****sumptions about others are necessarily reliable. For instance, ***** a political radical, as Djebar demonstrates *****ly at one point, does not always make a man into a feminist as well; and a wo***** who wears a veil is ***** necessarily less courageous, in her own moment ***** truth, than is one who ***** western cloth*****g.

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

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