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 ***** the ***** World (1962) Contributes to Our Knowledge of ***** 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 powerfully describes ***** 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 town, Blida, in 1956, two years into the Algerian ***** for *****, and against French colonialism.

It is through Djebar's characters' interactions and interpersonal relationships that ***** come to better understand life during ***** war in Algeria at ***** time; the effects of the war upon its people, and ***** high psychological and human cost of forced regime change, and ***** war ***** general. Djebar shows her characters in the most trying of circumstances, and (as often happens in ***** and in ***** itself) ***** identities and n*****ures of the book's heroes and villa*****s alike are continually surpr*****ing.

Djebar begins Children of the ***** World (*****) with an account the death of an old woman, one ***** myriad civilian casualties 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 the wrong time when a stray bomb fragment falls on her. This powerful beginning of the novel foreshadows what will turn out to be ***** ***** Djebar's major themes: ***** of the enormous and *****ten gratui*****us cost of war: on an entire society and, by association, on all of *****ity.

Assia Djebar's Children ***** the New World (1962) is clearly a femin*****t 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 one) ***** mids-1950's Algerian *****. The characters are, ***** example, an eclectic mix of feminist and traditional women; ***** scholarly men and men who ***** merchants; and of both supporters and opponents ***** Algerian 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 own ********** 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 ***** wears a veil is not necessarily less courageous, in her own moment of truth, than is one who wears western cloth*****g.

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

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