Symbolism in the Novels of Tawfiq Al-Hakim and V.S. Naipaul. A Comparative Study of Literary Technique

Author: El-Meligi, Eman
Year:2012
Pages:360
ISBN:0-7734-3047-4
978-0-7734-3047-1
Price:239.95
This book compares the literary styles of two authors from vastly different cultural and national heritages. Tawfiq Al-Hakim is an Egyptian and V.S. Naipaul is from Trinidad. The cultures are different but their literary techniques bear an affinity to one another. The author showcases how cultural differences are depicted in these novels, while also revealing a shared set of literary conventions utilized by these talented authors. Both draw on mythology and Jungian archetypes which are fertile ground for critical analysis that juxtapose them.

Reviews

“The work flows, she writes with excellent clarity and expression, and one of the greatest strengths is the firm, but even tone she adopts and maintains throughout the text. El-Meligi is erudite without being prejudiced, informative without being shrill. She excavates with genuine enthusiasm.”

-Prof. Nadya Chisty-Mujahid,
The American University in Cairo


“The manuscript promises to be of significant value to a wide readership. It provides an unusual and fascinating angle of vision on the symbolism and vision of two distinguished literary figures.”

-Prof. Lisa R. Portmess
Gettysburg College


"Overall, the text's method of close reading, interwoven with theoretical references, performs the tasks El-Meligi herself outlines as being central to Comparative Literature. A discussion of symbolist techniques employed by authors as disparate as Hakim and Naipaul demonstrates how postcolonial novelist is able carve an identity for him/herself within a genre whose affiliations are predominantly European. At a time when comparative literature is becoming increasingly interested in the context surrounding the text, El-Meligi's textual focus helps root the discipline in literary studies." -Prof. Sunayani Bhattacharya, University of Oregon

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Abstract
i
Foreword by Professor Nadya Chishty-Mujahid
v
Acknowledgements
ix
Introduction
1
Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies
1
Comparative Literature and Multiculturalism
2
Comparative Literature, Globalization and Post-Colonialism
5
Comparative Literature, Culture and Symbolism
12
Myth Criticism and the Archetypal Approach
14
Jungian Psychology and the Archetypal Approach
16
Method and Plan of This Research
20
Previous Critical Studies and This Research
21
Part I:
Chapter 1: The Use of Archetypal Symbolism in the Novels of Tawfiq al-Hakim: Case Studies of Return of the Spirit and The Sacred Bond
31
Ancient Egyptian Allusions
33
Sufi Symbolism
40
The Symbolism Gap
44
Anecdotal Symbolism
52
Symbolism of Character
61
The Artist-Hero
67
The Folk Form
71
Classical Allusions
73
Christian Allusions
80
Hakim and Naipaul
85
Jungian Archetypes
86
Chapter 2: V.S. Naipaul’s Use of Archetypal Symbolism in His Novels: Case Studies of A Bend in the River and Mr. Stone and The Knights Companion
97
Indian Allusions
98
African Mythology
114
Classical Allusions
125
Biblical Allusions
128
Native American Allusions
131
Caribbean Allusions
132
Celtic Legends
135
Jungian Archetypes
154
Part II:
Chapter 3: Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Diary of a Country Prosecutor as a Socio-Political Allegory
165
Symbolism of Setting
165
Symbolism of Character
167
Anecdotal Symbolism
176
Symbolism of the Diary Form
184
Intertwining Realism with Symbolism
185
Hakim and Naipaul
187
Chapter 4: V.S. Naipaul’s Autobiographical Novels as Religious Parables and Socio-Political Allegories: Case Studies of A House for Mr. Biswas and The Mimic Men
195
The Tulsis Symbolism: House as a Religious Parable
196
The ‘Trickster’ Archetype
196
The Hanuman House Symbolism
201
The Mother-City-House Archetypal Cluster
208
House as a Socio-Political Allegory
211
The Entrapment-versus-Flight Motif
220
The Horse and Tree Archetypes
226
Private Symbols
234
The American Dream Myth
235
Fire Symbolism and Hindu Mythology
247
Part III:
Chapter 5: Symbolism of the Narrative Structure and Technique in Tawfiq al-Hakim's Novels: Case Studies of Bird of the East, The Sacred Bond and Hakim's Donkey
251
Symbolism of the Narrative Structure
251
Symbolism of the Narrative Technique
255
Symbolism of Title
260
Symbolism of Character and the East-West Dichotomy
262
Globalization and Post-Colonialism
269
Hakim and Naipaul
271
The Epistolary Technique and the ‘Bubble’ Metaphor
277
Symbolism of the Narrative Structure in The Sacred Bond
283
Symbolism of Narrative Technique in Hakim’s Donkey
286
Chapter 6: Symbolism of the Narrative Structure and Technique in V.S. Naipaul’s Novels: A Case Study of The Enigma of Arrival
295
The Anti-Novel and Naipaul’s World View
295
Symbolism of Setting and the Metafictional Debate
298
The Untended Garden and Post-Colonialism
304
Symbolism of Character and the British Literary Tradition
313
Surrealism and Symbolism of the Title and Narrative Technique
321
Magic Realism
333
Symbolism of the Narrative Structure
340
Conclusion
347
Works Cited
355