On Sat, 7 Dec 2002, Mildred A Capella wrote:
ALTER EGO MONOLOGUE USAMA'S QUOTE ON EINSTEIN:
Why am I always getting blamed for terrorism? I didn't invent Atomic Energy.
I have explored Einstein's scientific theories per Cluster, and have
discovered that we are all clusters living in different
times and spaces, held together by some sort of Atomic Energy.
Round and round we go, where we stop nobody knows.
Energy = Mass x Speed of Light Squared
Einstein s Atomic Energy
Height of Giza=.481
x 300,000. Speed
14,430^2=.962 Square Root 3
Parallelogram Force of The Sphinx= Length
Speed of Light
Square Root 3
MAJOR TWENTIETH CENTURY WRITERS
Suppose time is a circle bending back on itself. The World repeats itself, precisely,
endlessly. For the most part people do not know they will live their lives over.
How would they know that each secret glimpse, each touch will be repeated again
and again, exactly as before? How could they know that nothing is temporary,
that all will happen again? In this World in which time is a circle, every handshake,
every kiss, every birth, every word will be repeated precisely. Some few people
in every town, in their dreams are vaguely aware that all has happened in the
In this World, time is like a flow of water, occasionally displaced by a bit
of debris, a passing breeze. Now and then, some cosmic disturbance will cause
a rivulet of time to turn away from the mainstream, to make a connection back
stream. Persons who have been transported back in time are easy to identify.
They wear dark indistinct clothing and walk on their toes, trying not to make
a single sound, trying not to bend a single blade of grass. For they fear any
change they make in the past could have drastic consequences for the future.
Such a traveler cannot act; he is an inert gas, a ghost, a sheet without a soul.
He has lost his personhood. He is an exile of time. Such wretched people from
the future, instead are left alone and pitied (8-17).
Alan Lightman makes use of imaginative anecdotes to cleverly introduce several
of Einstein s intellectual theories in regards to time and space, and human
existentionalism. However, let us take one step further. Assuming that, Lightman
s anecdotes reflect accurate exploration into Einstein s theories of Relativity
(Energy), Time, Light, and Gravity and human existentionalism upon each, then
we would be able to ascertain a human beings placement in the Universe at any
given time or space by taking a trip through each instance and/or mass of energy.
For example, if light always travels at a constant speed whether the source
(mass) is stationery or moving then it may be said that light is a constant
factor it does not change nor move. The change or move thus must be in mass
or energy (separate dimensions) which travels around the source of light. In
other words instead of light traveling through mass, it is mass traveling around
The same concept is reflected in the Solar System, whereby the planets (mass)
travel around the sun (light).
Einstein s theory of gravity confirms the change or move in mass by introducing
the three-dimensional time warp whereby he shows how a large or small mass warps
and creates the effect of gravity. This redirects the path of the objects that
travel into it. For example, to the naked eye a large asteroid (mass) moving
at the speed of light may seem like a suspended object in space. It creates
a warped effect of gravity when in reality the asteroid is moving and all objects
traveling into it are redirected. The strength of gravity therefore depends
on the space warp of the mass. In this order one can confirm that Einstein s
theories of dimensions of time are true. In fact Einstein s theory of Relativity
has proven that time travel at least to the future is possible.
In this order then let us take a trip with Alan Lightman, and Albert Einstein
through the different circles and dimensions traveling around time in the Universe
and attempt to find our existence upon each. After all, we are but mass traveling
The first quote may introduce the reader to the religious ideological belief
of reincarnation, of
the re-birth of human life. Furthermore, it lures the intellect of the reader,
so that they may delve into the diverse possibilities that may exist if indeed
human life is continuously repeated in a circle. How past, present and future
actions may influence and/or affect past present and future lives. Likewise,
how past, present and future lives, may influence and/or affect past present
and future actions. It tempts the reader to think of a time in life when feelings
of deja vu, have instilled puzzlement and fear. When a certain action propels
a person to stop and wonder if the action has been repeated in the past. It
also introduces the reader to the possibility of bringing past life experiences
and customs into present life experiences, and confirms the purpose of the biblical
reference, do onto others as you would have done onto you.
The second quote creates a path that brings the reader to a spiritual world,
a different dimension in time, where human beings do not exist as one within
the circle of time, but are exiled to suffer a life of indignation. A separate
dimension (mass) traveling around light. The quote may also be viewed as a religious
metaphor, to describe the state of a sorrowful soul lost and/or exiled to a
ALTER EGO MONOLOGUE: USAMA S QUOTE ON EINSTEIN S THEORIES CLUSTER 1
A Walk with Einstein
Exquisite adulation to thy spirit,
of words acclaimed, ingenuous truths.
Such candor is music to a soul in torment,
Traveling by the circle of existence, seeking
legitimacy of thy frankness.
Lest a lost spirit be honored,
If thy allow accompaniment in time,
For my heart has lifted threefold,
Upon thy theories I declare victory,
Each worthy of accolade sublime.
Besiege thy time, that we may meet,
In the circular path of continuance,
For I may serve as validation indeed
Of the intricacies of life, upon ones existence.
If thy wisdom shall allow expansion,
May I dare declare and explain.
Human existence in the circle of time is valid,
and within it, lives shall forever remain.
Though many seek enlightment,
to elude a moment in time,
exits do not exist within the circle,
Lest it be the eerie phantoms of exile,
Who shall not dare cross the line?
Eerie am I, dearest master of wisdom,
A phantom in waiting for freedom sublime
As are many who stand beside me,
At odds exiled from the realms of time.
Thus exhausted from such deception,
I have pierced the chains of existence,
To divulge the overwhelming truths of permanence,
Shattering the realm of human indifference.
For once I too traveled the circle, and took of life s share,
Willing to assist and make all aware.
Yet many dared to end my existence
A slaying of proportion, that now must come to bare.
Thus now wise friend, we wear the dress of ghosts.
Walking in the annals of time, of non-existence,
To the dead, forgotten and slain we are hosts
We bow our heads to thy truthfulness
If only but one may know, it is enough to prove our resistance.
"Jean Tarrou whose acquaintance we have already made at the beginning of
the narrative had come to Oran some weeks before and was staying in a big hotel
in the center of the town. Apparently he had private means and was not encouraged
in business. But though he gradually became a familiar figure in our midst,
no one knew where he hailed from or what brought him to Oran (23).
Lastly Tarrou seemed to have been quite fascinated by the commercial character
of the town, whose aspect activities, and even pleasures all seemed to be dictated
by considerations of business. This idiosyncrasy- the term he uses in his diary
was warmly approved of by Tarrou: indeed, one of his appreciative comments ends
on the exclamation: At Last! (26).
Subsequently Grand had reported to the Doctor other changes in Cottard s character.
Cottard had always professed very liberal ideas, as his pet dictum on economic
questions; big fish eat little fish, implied (55).
Those rats died of plague, was his conclusion, or of something extremely like
it. And they loosened on the town tens of thousands of fleas, which will spread
the infection in geometrical progression unless it s checked in time (61).
He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from
books; that plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie
dormant for years and years in furniture and linen chest; that it bides its
times in bedrooms, cellars, trunks and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day
would come when, for the bane and enlightment of men, it would rouse up it s
rats again and send forth to die in a happy city (308)."
ALTER EGO MONOLOGUE: USAMA AL KARMI (WILD THORNS) PLAY
Usama the Investigator: Camus, are you
suggesting that the plague in Oran arose when Tarrou and Cottard came to
Camus: I am merely making light of the fact that our town was quite normal
and did not
suffer from such malaise prior to the arrival of these two gentleman.
Usama the Investigator: What proof may you have that the Dr's . suggestions
may be true?
Camus: None that may be credible in a court of law, yet I may
add that the Prefect of Oran and
Dr. Rieux sent forward samples of buboes for testing and when they
obtained the results, Dr. Rieux noted
several times that the bacillus was quite different from that of The Plague.
Usama the Investigator: But their exists just one bacillus responsible for this
disease. The Yersinis Pestis which circulates amongst the rodents and
Camus: Exactly and that was not the bacillus in Dr. Rieux s buboes
samples. Which only suggests two possible explanations. First
that a foreign bacillus was introduced in Oran. Second
that the disease mimicked The Plague but was indeed another deadly disease.
Nothwithstanding Dr. Rieux has detailed every encounter he had with Tarrou and
Cottard including his distrustful aversion
to their comments.
Usama the Investigator: Comments however, are no proof of criminal intent. If
what Dr. Rieux details may be true, one may never know for both men have passed
onto other horizons in time.
Camus: One thing however, is perplexing. Dr. Rieux ends
his narrative by telling us that the
Plague bacillus never dies, that it lays dormant for years and years.
Is it not possible then to seize the furniture for testing to determine
if indeed The Plague Bacillus was indeed the cause of such loss of life?
Usama the Investigator: That can be done, but my dear friend what purpose may
it serve now, for none can beheld culpable of such horrific strife. If it be
so, the instillers of this terror are doomed to the annals of time.
Camus: Sad as it may seem you are right. Now, I fear that the deaths of
our people will follow
us through out the circle of time forever.
Jean Paul Sartre' s play No Exit, is indeed a satirical example of how diverse
perceptions view hell of hellish plight. Written in an often-hilarious fashion,
No Exit tells the reader that hell is what you make of it. In Sartre s case,
hell is a continuous battle amongst human beings. The use of Sartre' s, Second
Empire room to depict hell clearly indicates his upper social status. In fact,
considering religious convictions of heaven and hell it can be inferred that
Sartre treats his condemned characters in a humanistic fashion considering one
is a baby killer, the other stood by and let a man die, while the other committed
adultery and tortured his spouse. Regardless of how we may choose our ultimate
demise, the realization that we as human beings cannot escape one another nor
the intricacies of our life s existence within the circle of time, may for some
mean the trappings of a hellish plight.
The heart of the believer is between two fingers of the All-Merciful God.
If this be so then the hearts of those lost, and the hearts of those whom have
lost loved ones remain in the hands of the Almighty God.
My name is Usama al-Karmi and I am from Palestine. Although, many insist on
calling me a terrorist I will argue that I do not instill terror. I merely open
human kinds eye to the truth of human existence. So that perhaps they may wake
up from their slumber to realize that human beings are forgetting the true principals
and the purpose of their existence.
A well know Prophet once said, He who knows himself, knows God. He who knows
God knows himself. Yet there are many who in searching for self-realization
or answers to life s intricacies cannot find God. They believe that there is
some great mystery, or a special path to be followed in order to know God. Yes
indeed there are paths in which we may follow to know God. One is achieved by
looking at oneself and realizing that we at one time where non-existent. And
yet here we stand now to fulfill a purpose. It is obvious that we did not create
such perfection, from non-existence. Once we may understand this and realize
that we are a reflection of the All-Merciful s will then we may begin to appreciate
our existence. It follows then that to love God and his creation is to love
thyself. To love thyself is indeed to love God, and this is true of all religions.
For example, look at the structure of a human beings hand. The entire purpose
of the All-Merciful God's will, maybe found in it. Fingers are all unequal in
size. Just as unequal as every human being. No one human is like the other.
Eight fingers have three joints, while only two have two joints. Just as in
God s creation some are born tall and yet others short, some strong some weak.
While each finger is unequal of size, they each compliment one another and assist
one another without hesitation, in achieving a task. This too was the purpose
of the Almighty God upon his creation. That all peoples regardless of inequalities
compliment and assist one another to achieve the task of maintaining his creation.
All fingers bend forward willing to assist each and some even bend backwards,
just as human beings should be flexible in their dealings with one another.
When a finger is injured or broken, the other fingers take over its task with
great care not to hurt the disabled one. This too is the purpose of the All
Merciful that if any of his people should suffer despair that others may come
to its aid and take great care in nursing the wounds. Fingers of a hand also
point in the direction of a desired object. Just as the All-Merciful Gods two
fingers points in the direction of his heart. It is suffice to say that when
we believe, God holds us between the two fingers of his heart.
In today s day and age, however many have forgotten these principles. Human
beings are suffering around the World. Mother Earth is suffering, and yet millions
go about their daily routines without much care of what happens in the World.
They may listen to the news and have fluid conversations over coffee and a donut.
They may even send contributions to agencies to appease any feelings of carelessness.
However, it is not till a disaster comes to knock at their door that human beings
begin to realize the importance of their existence upon God s creation.
In fact, today there is talk of war. I know, you know, we all know that this
war if it begins will be the end of creation as we know it. We are all aware
of the implications. Yet we continue to drink our coffee and talk. Thinking
it will never come, it is just words. Words on paper are just that, words on
paper. It is Hussein against Bush, Bush against Osama, Osama against Hussein.
Then it becomes Bush against Hussein, Osama against Bush, Hussein and Osama.
The truth however is clear. We the people of the World will be the ones to perish
into the exiles of non-existence, if this war takes place. Then all my warnings,
my people s warnings will have been useless.
My friend, Elie Wiesel (Night) realized this only too late. Elie lost his family
in the Holocaust. He lost his will to live and to love God by witnessing such
atrocities upon humanity. Yet, he too had a chance in the beginning to escape
or fight or do something to help himself, yet he choose to ignore and believe
things of such nature would ever come to be.
My friend, Paul Baumer (All Quiet in the Western Front) he too at 20 years old,
joined the ranks of the warriors to stand for a nations purpose only to find
out too late that the he was fighting for the wrong reasons and purpose. He
took part in my friend Elie s demise. He suffered such despair and psychological
trauma that he chose to refer to his experiences in the state of nature. He
swore that if he came out alive he would fight to end the hatred that existed
amongst human beings, especially of those in uniform.
I am not like any of my friends however, I am Usama. I only fight for the truth,
for abuses against humanity, for a cry of help and understanding I fight for
my right to live my life under the principals and for the purposes that the
All-Merciful God has instilled. My poor cousin Nuwar, she too was much like
my friend Elie, never thinking much about the seriousness of others actions.
She was raped by officers at the checkpoint while picking me up to visit my
mother. Nuwar, the pride of the family and they desecrated her. All I could
do was listen as she screamed, You Swine, you Swine. Helpless was I, for all
the other officers had guns on my head. Then one of them came out of the bunk
and called her a dirty whore. Dearest All Merciful what has become of your creation?
Save us all. In the meantime, however I will try and save as many as I can.
I will not sit and talk over coffee, or tea. I will fight so that our existence
here upon your creation may forever stay dearest All Merciful.
GOD DIES BY THE NILE
Character Anthropomorphism and Personification
Pg. 32 Om Saber, the daya was clad in a long black dress. She moved her hand
in under the shawl and wiped the sweat from her nose and eyes, but it continued
to pour out from the roots of her hair down over her face and her neck to her
chest and her back. Underneath her, on the back of the donkey its rough coat
was becoming wetter and wetter. The Spine of the donkey pressed up between her
thighs. She could feel it hard against the wound, which was still bleeding inside.
With every step, with every beat of the tabla, the back of the donkey rose and
fell, and its thin spine moved up and down to rub on her wounds, causing her
a sharp pain every time, and making her lids open in a noiseless cry. Pg. 47
Kafrawi rubbed his forehead against the full udder of the buffalo, opened his
parched lips, and took the black nipple into his mouth. He could feel the warm
milk flowing down to his stomach. His lids became relaxed, and dropped softly
over his eyes. But the milk continued to flow further down to the lower part
of his belly, and the upper part of his thighs. He felt something fill up, become
swollen and erect, like a strange organ which was not a part of his body.
He pressed on it with the palm of his hand, trying to push it back, but it refused
to yield. He watched it get out, breaking through the limits of his body
and his will, like a part of him over which he had lost control. Slowly it crept
over the soft udder, breathing in the smell of female, ladding up the familiar
wetness, slid up into the warmth and was lost in a great stillness, like an
eternity, like death. Pg. 57 But Metwalli had lived among the dead year after
year, like any worm. He dug the ground feverishly with his strong wiry fingers,
as sharp and as cutting as those of a cat, searching for a piece of meat buried
in the ground.
Pg. 13 Now that the Mayor was joking with him so familiarly, the feeling of
inferiority, of being of no consequence, which had invaded Haj Ismail a few
moments before was largely dispelled. Was not the Mayor cracking jokes with
him? Was this not a good enough reason to feel his self-confidence restored,
to feel that the social gap between them was narrowing?
Close Textual Analysis:
In God Dies By the Nile, the author Nawal El Saadawi, introduces the reader
to the social oppression of woman and families in her native land of Egypt.
Saadawi, means to let the reader know of the abuses committed by the men in
her native land upon woman and children, and she lets loose her anger and rage
against her lands people and customs. In order to build-up to an emphatic, didactic
message, Saadawi, makes use of continuous passive verbs such as: relaxed, dropped,
opened, continued, rubbed, buried, rather than assume active verbs. By portraying
the abusers under character anthropomorphism and personification, she is cynically
comparing and contrasting the animalistic tendencies of her people. In addition,
Saadawi, (as well as the other 2 authors in the cluster), makes the reader aware
of her cultures constant insecurities, feelings of despair, and uncertainties,
by introducing literal aporia. Saadawi also introduces literal Doppelganger
by duplicating the characters of Zakeya and Zeinab, to show the reader the metamorphis
and emergence of the main characters two distinct, yet opposite personalities.
The author does this in order to show the reader, Zakeya s growing awareness
and internal struggle s between the good and evil that she has had to undergo.
In Zeinab, Zakeya finds the strength to carry on after all the abuses she has
had to endure. However as Zakeya, she finds her worst fears, insecurities and
nightmares of the abuse she has had to endure.
The author also introduces, an antagonistic character, The Mayor of Kafr El
Teen (whom is viewed as God himself) and an anti-heroic character Sheikh Metwalli,
(whom is viewed as an evil outcast) to set forward, the didactic message of
her novel. The message achieved is that although many men in her land consider
themselves and act as Gods, their abusive, violent, unsympathetic actions, and
manners make them just as pathetic and evil as the men that are social outcasts.
She also lets the reader know that their are only two kinds of men in her land,
those who think themselves as God but in all reality are evil, and those whom
know they are evil. In other words in Saadawi s land their are no men of God,
No God by the Nile. Hence the title, God dies by the Nile. God Dies By the Nile
is written in a gender perspective literal sense.
THE DAY THE LEADER WAS KILLED
The author, Naguib Mahfouz, introduces the reader to a families struggle to
survive under the economic auspices of the Saddat regime in El Cairo. In, The
Day The Leader Was Killed, the author makes use of active verbs such as; knock
on, switch on, must drag, (Page 4) to describe his main characters placement
in the family hierarchy.
He places the grandfather and eldest, member of the family, Muhtashimi Zayed,
as the ever-present narrating voice, for the rest of the family members. He
then places passive verbs such as, signed, translated, engaged (Page 31), and
wounded, alienated (Page 52) to describe the emotional feelings and upheavals
of Muhtashimi s family members. Mahfouz s, novel includes characters who serve
as comparative analogies to the countries political history prior to and during
the Saddat regime. The character of Muhtashimi can be compared to the old regime
prior to Anwar Saddat. When, eggs, cheese, pastrami, and jam, (riches-pg.4)
The author wants to ascertain Muhtashimi s resentment of the new political regime
of Anwar Saddat, whereby the economic policies have left Muhtashimi with falafels
and beans, for breakfast (poverty). Mahfouz also wants to introduce Muhtashimi
s resentment of the younger generation, by showing mischievous ways in which
the older generation may affect young loving relationships.
In introducing the character of, Fawwaz, (Muhtashimi s son), Mahfouz introduces
the shocking results of a change in political regimes, whereby many must work
day and night to survive and yet still be impoverished because of economical
policies of an elite few. By introducing Elwan, (Muhtashimi s grandson), and
Randa (Elwan' s girlfriend), Mahfouz is introducing the new generation whom
hold the power, and hold on to hope with love in their hearts, yet feel helpless
under the dictatorship of an authoritarian political figure. They have a chance
at triumph yet because of economic and social reasons remain stagnate and angered,
to the point of committing a crime. In the character of Gulstan or (Anwar Allam),
Mahfouz finds Anwar Saddat, and his deceitful, cheating economic policies. In,
Zeinab Hanem s character (Randa s mother) Mahfouz, introduces the money hungry
people whom follow a leader regardless of his less than desirable qualities.
Lastly, in the character of Randa s father, Mahfouz introduces the group of
people, whom always remain silent and never take a stand in one direction or
another when political turmoil exists. It is suffice to say that in the crime
committed by Elwan, in the killing of Gulstan, we may in fact find the assassination
of Anwar Saddat.
WAR IN THE LAND OF EGYPT
In, War in the Land of Egypt, the author Yusuf-Al Qa id combines a narrative,
and descriptive novel to introduce the comedic happenings and tragic consequences
of a wealthy families attempt at buying their sons freedom from military service
by arranging a juxtaposition of characters and paying government bureaucracies.
The novel is a look at the Arabic social, political, classical and narrative
techniques. However, because of the multiple characters whom step forward in
the novel to ascertain their stand, and assist the family, and the descriptive
nature of the money and steps taken to make certain their plans succeed, a paradox
surfaces as to whom is waging war on whom, the land/country waging war on the
sons, or the sons waging war on the country/land. In, War in the Land Egypt,
Qa id also sets forth his social concerns by creating a parallel between the
families involved in the deception, the Umda s son and the watchmen s son being
born the same day. Then he contrasts the parallel by showing the social inequalities
ALTER EGO MONOLOGUE: USAMA S QUOTE ON EINSTEIN' S THEORIES;
In this World, time is a line that terminates at the present, both in reality
and in the mind. In this world, no person can imagine the future. Imagining
the future is no more possible than seeing the colors beyond violet: the senses
cannot conceive what may lie past the visible end of the spectrum. In a world
without future, each parting of friends is a death. In a world without future,
each laugh is the last laugh. In a world without future, beyond the present
lies nothingness, and people cling to the present as if hanging from a cliff.
A person who cannot imagine the future is a person who cannot contemplate the
results of his actions. Some are thus paralyzed into action. They lie in their
beds through the day, wide-awake but afraid to put on their clothes..... Others
leap out of bed in the morning, unconcerned that each action leads into nothingness,
unconcerned that they cannot plan out their lives.... They live moment to moment,
and each moment is full. They recount each memory, each action taken, each cause
and effect, and are fascinated by how events have delivered them to this moment,
the last moment of the world, the termination of the line that is time.
MARTYR S CROSSING AND WILD THORNS
ANALYTICAL COMPARISON AND CONTRAST
Human Perils Make War
The political conflicts between Israel and Palestine may never be resolved,
if human rights violations continue to plague peaceful negotiations. A major
deterring factor in a countries political stability is the continuous violation
of human rights. In fact, during 1948, at the same time the British withdrew
from Palestine and The United Nations split Palestine into Arab and Israeli
States; the United Nations also introduced a, Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. The Declaration reaffirmed the United Nations:
Recognition that disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in
Barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent
Of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief
And freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration
Of the common people, and to promote friendly relations amongst nations...
Both the Israeli s and the Arabs claim ownership of the land in Jerusalem by
ancestral and/or historical records, and both peoples have suffered from genocide
and continuous displacement.
After 50 years of wars, amidst the suicide bombings, the deaths at checkpoints,
and the crimes of occupation, the evidence is clear. If oppression of peoples
continue, so then will political conflicts. Foreign policy analysts may tend
to approach the Middle Eastern crisis, in theoretical terms of international
security and/or the international political economy. However, in order to understand
why international events occur in the manner they do, foreign policy analysts
must also learn to find the answers or short-term sequences that lead to a specific
outcome. In the case of Israel and Palestine, human rights violations have gone
unchecked for so long that they have become common place, yet not widely accepted.
Herein then, lay the difference. A people may face oppression with a raised
chin, and walk away proud, but many will resent the oppression and fight back.
This is the case with the Israeli-Palestinian plight.
In 1993, The Israel-Palestine Declaration of Principles on Interim Self Government
Arrangements, was signed, whereby Israel agreed to transfer certain powers and
responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority.
However, once again both parties continued the human rights violations thus
altering future negotiations. In 1995 the Palestinian population was estimated
at 6.6 million, and The United Nations Relief and Works Agency data showed that
of the 6.6 million Palestinians, a total of 3,172,641. Palestinians were registered
refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria and Lebanon, and an estimated total of
335,000 Palestinians where non-registered displaced persons. The CIA World Fact
Book indicates that in 2002 out of a population of 2,163,667 in the West Bank,
there where about 182,000 Israeli settlers. The religion practiced in the West
Bank is predominantly Muslim (Sunni) 75%, Jewish 17% and Christian 8%.
The humanistic approach in dealing with the, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has
been debated by writers, scholars, historians and politicians alike, yet not
one specific entity has stepped forward to make certain that the violations
are completely stopped. Each time a suicide bomber attacks an Israeli bus, or
an Israeli soldier denies passage at a checkpoint to an ill Palestinian, they
violate the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Two writers, who have introduced the plight of human suffering in the Israeli-Palestinian
conflicts are Amy Wilentz, with Martyrs Crossing and Sahar Khalifeh, with Wild
Thorns. The two novels offer distinct perspectives into individual political
ideologies, values and morals regarding the Israeli-Palestinian plight and the
outcomes of living under political, economic, and social oppression. Martyrdom
and human suffering are seen through the eyes of a mother who loses her young
child, Ibrahim, because she is denied emergency passage at an Israeli checkpoint
(Wilentz, Martyrs Crossing). On the other hand, martyrdom is also seen through
the eyes of a freedom fighter, Usama, who vows to not let the Israeli occupation
oppress his people. He prefers to die than let the Israeli s influence his culture
(Khalifeh, Wild Thorns).
While, Khalifeh introduces characters with militant aspects in order to prove
resistance; Wilentz introduces characters complete with behaviors, attitudes,
biases, and hatred to show the different aspects of human suffering.
In her novel, Martyrs Crossing, Amy Wilentz, approaches the Middle Eastern political
conflict between Israel and Palestine in a humanistic fashion. Amy Wilentz lived
in Jerusalem and was a Jerusalem correspondent for the New Yorker from 1995
to 1997. Therefore, she had first hand experience and insight into the Arab-Israeli
conflict. However, instead of presenting her readers with a novel about the
usual stereotypical political characterizations, she wrote a novel about the
human condition. How, so often countries in political turmoil, tend to ignore
and disregard humanity to achieve a certain goal.
During the publishing of Martyrs Crossing, Wilentz, wrote a letter to the Los
Angeles Times calling the Israeli-Palestine plight, A Morally Bankrupt War.
In the letter she tells of, Amira Nassir, a 50 year old diabetic that has died
of a heart attack at an Israeli checkpoint. Amira, was trying to get to a hospital
but was stopped by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint and was not let through.
Wilentz, then goes on to detail the sad and shocking similarities between the
Palestinian woman s death, and others whom have died at Israeli checkpoints,
including babies and/or children. According to Wilentz, they are the Martyrs.
They re suffering and eventual demise are all part of a war without morals.
They are the result of the indifference brought about by the established political
chaos. Amy Wilentz, ends her letter to, The Los Angeles Times, in a sad note.
She adds that a country under political turmoil may never achieve Peace if human
rights are disregarded.
In her novel Martyrs Crossing, Amy Wilentz, sets forth humanity s constant struggle
between good and evil, its suffering and martyrdom. Wilentz, makes use of the
Israeli and Palestinian political conflict to develop the plot of her novel,
but she uses characterization to deliver the main idea. For example, the denial
of Israeli soldiers to let a Palestinian mother and her sick child pass through
a check point after a series of terror bombings, introduces the Israeli s plight,
their despair, distrust, and cautionary methods. On the other hand, denying
passage at a checkpoint, to a Palestinian mother and her very sick child, (so
that they may get to a hospital) introduces the Palestinian plight and their
despair, distrust and martyrly methods.
Both situations may be viewed as metaphorical references to the Arab-Israeli
conflicts. The untimely death of the young Palestinian child, Ibrahim, sets
forward the introduction of a myriad of characters. From this point forward,
Wilentz, lets each character take form and develop according to individual dignity,
values, and morals.
Marina, American born, but Palestinian by ancestry, ever faithful, ever loving,
and ever suffering mother, daughter, and wife. She can hardly bare the loss
of her child, yet still manages to feel sympathy and sorrow for the man whom
denied her the much-needed passage to get her child to the hospital. She is
consumed by feelings of love and hate for the Palestinian land that bore her
father life, yet took her child away. Doron, the Israeli soldier who denies
Marina passage, yet feels enough compassion and sorrow in his hardened heart
to finally let them through, only to find out that he has done so, much to late.
The child has died. He is aware of his wrong and is consumed by feelings of
despair, and guilt. He tries to make things right in his own soldier like way,
but instead becomes a Martyr himself.
Hassan Hajimi, the ever faithful Palestinian warrior, Marina s husband, Ibrahim
s father. He is jailed, initially and accused of terrorist acts. Lost and in
despair over the loss of his son he confines himself to a starvation diet of
water and bread. Zvili, the ever faithful and non-caring Israeli soldier. He
is only out for himself and those who can do well by him. George Raad, Marina
s father born and raised in Palestine, and displaced to America during the occupation.
A Cardiologist and great writer. In anger he wrote about Palestinian political
hypocrisy and was almost killed. He lived in Cambridge, USA, but never forgot
his homeland. He ironically suffered a heart attack and finally died of heart
failure. Ahmed Amr, childhood friend of George Raad, a narcissistic Palestinian,
concerned and conceded with his external beauty, and mischievous undertakings,
but lacking in internal beauty, and charm. Philip, George Raad s eternal companion
after his wife passes away, and possible love interest. He tells George, of
Ahmed s devious, jealous tendencies. Yizhar, the epitome of an Israeli Colonel.
In charge of the West Bank Security. He is harsh, and follows only military
ways. He manipulates situations, so that may best serve his needs, regardless
of others feelings or emotions. By introducing the dramatic behaviors, attitudes,
and emotions of each character, Wilentz is able to show, rather than tell the
reader each characters deepest concern.
In order to show the reader, the inherit ugliness that develops amongst human
beings, when using human tragedy for political purposes, the author also adds
stereotypes to her characters. Each character steps forward complete with loyalties,
insecurities, inflated ego s, biases, hatreds and anger. The irony behind Wilentz
s characters is that the Palestinian s feel hatred and mistrust amongst each
other, just as the Israeli s feel hatred and mistrust amongst each other. For
example, while driving his car, Ahmed looks at himself in the rear view mirror
and egotistically thinks to himself what a handsome imperial. (Pg. 97)
He then seems resigned and saddened by the Palestinian plight when he compares
himself to George, who won t roll with the punches, while he thinks of himself
as rolling with the punches. (Pg. 97) Furthermore, Doron makes fun of Colonel
Yizhar s look by referring to him as a green-eyed owl, beaky, and clever. Doron,
also critically describes Yizhar s secretary, as being the kind of woman you
didn t want to imagine naked. (Pg.81) On the other hand, Marina criticizes Islamic
customs, whereby mothers are proud to lose their children as martyrs for the
cause. Marina declares, she will never understand. (Pg.139) George finds Ahmed
s use of his grandson s tragedy for political aggrandizement irritating, and
he distances himself with disgust, by ignoring, The Palestinian People. (Pg.
115) Colonel Yizhar, shows his anger over his situation by cursing his,
"f.....g patriotic spirit of the country."(Pg.89)
Nevertheless, Wilentz maintains a level of political correctness by displaying
each character s juxtaposition of sentiments, by way of irony and humor. For
example, an Israeli soldier asking Philip if he has any vepin s, instead of
weapons. (Pg.253) Marina s father George, ending up in a Hebrew hospital, wearing
hospital robes scribbled in Hebrew, and dying under, Zionist sheets. (Pg.306)
At times the absence of opinion in a character also adds to the novels ultimate
purpose. In this way, the author introduces grammatical strategies such as syllables
to denote anger, surprise or sarcasm. Ah, as a response from Doron to show his
disgust, (Pg. 87) or dah, as an exclamation of disgust from George, who mentally
recoils. (Pg.55) Yizhar exclaims hah, upon finding a certain stencil. Ahmed
Amr declares, Blah blah, blah, to ignore the news on the Israeli-Palestinian
political plight (Pg.95)
Each character in the novel is carefully structured and orchestrated, to achieve
a certain response from the reader. Rather than assigning political ideologies
to each character, Amy Wilentz ascertains the main purpose of her novel by showing
each characters human side, their heartfelt emotions, values and morals. In
doing so, Wilentz, is able to set forward the didactic message of her novel.
The didactic message being, that too often countries under political turmoil
tend to ignore and disregard humanity to achieve a certain goal. They use human
tragedy and martyrdom for political purposes, yet still cannot achieve Peace.
Perhaps, if they concentrated their efforts in the implementation and development
of human rights for all peoples, peaceful solutions may be achieved.
In her novel, Wild Thorns, the author, Sahar Khalifeh, approaches the Middle
Eastern political conflict between Israel and Palestine from an individual ideological
perspective, ascertaining historical and humanistic values. Sahar Khalifeh s,
very own biography proves to be a powerful tool in providing insight into Palestinian
history bridging the gap between the individual and the collective characters.
The author serves as a historical witness to the events and circumstances surrounding
her country of origin. Sahar Khalifeh, was born a Palestinian in Nablus in 1941.
In 1947 a British mandate propelled the United Nations to split Palestinian
territories into Arab and Jewish states. During the mandate 700,000. Palestinians
were displaced. Khalifeh, soon left a frustrating marriage, for an American
education in literature and women s studies. The Israeli forces confiscated
her first novel. Khalifeh, does not structure her novel on the condition of
Diaspora, instead she crafts each character in a subjective angle.
Khalifeh, introduces each individual character in her novel as a historical
agent, whether it be the militant youngsters who skip school to plan revolts,
or the Palestinian shopkeeper who sells his Israeli bread, or the village mother
who ululates in protest while bulldozers destroy homes.
The author takes the reader on a journey through the individual voices of human
beings that have faced years of political, social and economic oppression, during
the Israeli occupation. She then compares and contrasts individual responses
to the occupation, whether it be complacency or resistance. Unlike, Wilentz,
in Martyrs Crossing, wherein she develops each character to show their values,
morals, biases, and hatred, Khalifeh, develops each character in her novel from
a militant point of view to show the reader the need for resistance.
The main characters in Khalifeh s, novel are, Usama Al Karmi, and Abu Adil,
both Palestinians by birth. Initially, Usama appears to have been traveling
around the Middle East, to find work because his family has been displaced from
their land. In reality, Usama is also a fighter against the Israeli occupation
and a terrorist. In deciding to return to his homeland, Usama encounters several
events, which set forth his rage against the complacency of Arabs towards the
While passing by an Israeli checkpoint, he is confronted by officers who put
him through a myriad of interrogations. Then he hears the screams of a girl
who is being continuously slapped by an Arab soldier (Pg.11) He feels sorrow,
for at 27 he has decided to return to his Palestine only to find that the people
in his land have become complacent with the Israeli occupation. Many have found
work in Israeli factories and have become pleasantly comfortable with the occupation.
They eat, drink, and buy Israeli products. This infuriates, Usama, further and
he blames the Arabs for their own inflictions (Pg.22). Usama, believes they
are all talk but do not care to fight or stand up to the economic, political
and social oppression. As a poet, Usama, uses a metaphorical reference to set
the tone of his thoughts, as follows, Anger seemed to boil up everywhere on
earth, yet this land they were driving through, his land was dying of frost
Usama, resents the fact that soldiers at a checkpoint take money from an elderly
Palestinian lady, while the Palestinian men smoke the Israeli cigarettes, and
70,000 Arabs work in Israeli factories (Pg.23).
Before arriving at his mother s house, Usama drives through the town square
and notices that people do not seem poverty stricken and dress fashionably.
They also buy things without haggling, yet for Usama, nothing has changed. Because
his plight is embedded in the history of Palestinian land, the return of his
families territory. Usama, finally arrives into his mothers arms only to discover
that the remaining family land has been abandoned.
Usama s, cousin Abu Adil, has had to go work in the Israeli factories because
he has not been able to afford the upkeep of his fathers kidney machine. Abu
Adil, is the living martyr in the family. He has lost all his riches and money
to upkeep a kidney machine that keeps his father alive. Usama, then meets Adil
s daughter, Nuwar whom tells Usama that the Strong never bow down, (Pg.34)
During the entire, novel Khalifeh introduces each characters ideological values
to reach the novels final climax. For example, Adil gets drunk and declares
his hatred for his Palestinian people by telling them to sink into the mud.
Sink into the mud, oh Palestine of mine and suffer, my people, the bitterness
of recognizing reality and being helpless before it. (Pg.61). Aggravating circumstances
increase Usama s, rage and he decides to strike. He assassinates an Israeli
officer practically in front of his mother, Um Sabir, who quickly comes to the
rescue of the Israeli officer s child and wife, as Usama runs always. Um Sabir,
covers the child s legs with her veil and feels complete sorrow at their predicament,
while Abu Adil, Usama s cousin, comforts the Israeli widow and carries the little
Israeli girl. Here, Khalifeh introduces the humanistic approach. The silent
inherent values of human existence which transcend all boundaries.
Towards the end of the novel, Khalifeh presents the reader with a literal, Deus
ex machina, which finally sets forward the final climax of her novel. After,
Usama s assassination of the Israeli officer, and his disappearance, Abu Adil
realizes that his family will bare the brunt of Usama s actions.
The Israeli soldiers will come to his home, and search for any signs of Usama
and/or terrorist activities. They will then blow up Adil s home. During this
time, Adil s character runs through a myriad of emotions such as, fear, anger,
thirst for revenge, sorrow, rage, but the machinery of oppression suppresses
them. The machinery of oppression being the Israeli occupation, the Israeli
officers, the tanks, and the kidney machine, which has brought, Adil and his
family to ruins. Khalifeh then introduces the parallel between the kidney machine
that has oppressed Adil economically, and the Israeli machinery, which has oppressed
Adil politically and socially, to compare and contrast. In one final act of
defiance against oppression, Adil leaves the kidney machine in the house to
be blown up by the Israeli tanks.
Here, Sahar Khalifeh, introduces the irony and didactic message. By blowing
up, Adil s home and the kidney machine, the Israeli machinery of oppression
is liberating, Adil from economical, political and social burdens. However for
Adil, his world has crumbled and even if he wished to start a new he would not
have the courage because he feels that even if the machinery of oppression will
always suppress your heart rages and storms, the energies. (Pg.206)
Sahar Khalifeh gives the reader a poetic insight into the souls of her two main
characters in her, whereas Wilentz uses straightforward behaviors and attitudes
in each character, which may lead the reader to gain insight into each characters
To turn insults into strengths, whigs, tories, Blacks all chose to wear with
pride the names they were given in scorn; likewise, our mountain-climbing, prophet-motivated
solitary is to be the medieval baby frightener, The Devils synonym; Mahound.
In his novel Satanic Verses, Salmon Rushdie introduces the reader to human kinds
continuous battles between good and evil; religious beliefs of reincarnation
and martyrdom; and Muslim and Hindu cultural beliefs.
The main characters in the novel are the Archangel Gabriel Farishta, whom reincarnates
several times during the novel into good and evil metamorphosis, and Saladin
Chamcha, who is obsessed with living in ellowen deeowen, or London, and despises
his Hindu heritage. They both fall from an exploding airplane and discuss the
intricacies of life and death. Gibrel sings that to be born again you must first
die, while Saladin begins to doubt his Western choices. Gibrel, transforms into
an angel once again then ultimately commits suicide to escape the continuous
rebirths; while Saladin grows horns and hooves. Because Rushdie, refers to Mahound
as the devil himself or Shaitan, Satanic Verses, was criticized for misleading
readers about Islam and the Muslims, and Rushdie was forced into exile.
ALTER EGO MONOLOGUE: USAMA' S QUOTE ON EINSTEIN' S THEORIES CLUSTER 4
In this World there are two times. There is mechanical time and there is body
time. The first is as rigid and metallic as a massive pendulum of iron that
swings back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. The second squirms and
wriggles like a bluefish in a bay. The first is unyielding, predetermined. The
second makes up its mind as it goes along. Many are convinced that mechanical
time does not exist.... They wear watches on their wrists, but only as ornaments.
Instead they listen to their heartbeats. They feel the rhythms of their moods
and desires. Such people eat when they are hungry, go to jobs.... when they
wake from their sleep, make love all hours of the day....... Then there are
those who think their bodies don t exist. They live by mechanical time. They
rise at seven o clock in the morning.... They arrive at their appointments on
time, precisely by the clock. They make love between eight and ten at night...
When their stomach growls they look at their watch to see if it is time to eat......
Where the two times meet, desperation. Where the two times go their separate
ways, contentment. For miraculously, a barrister, a nurse, a baker can make
a world in either time, but not in both times. Each time is true, but the truths
are not the same (23-27)
She said people had been telling her lies. She was lied to by a bunch of hypocrites.
She hated hypocrites. She said that the country was filled with hypocrites.
Hypocrites ran the party in many respects. She said it was her duty to fight
against hypocrisy. She would spend the rest of her life correcting the incorrect.
She asked me to join the battle. I did not fully understand what she meant,
but I did not say so. I said, yes, of course. Hypocrites were bad in any case.
She asked, do you smell hypocrites in our room? (85-86)
I chose this passage because it explains in a nutshell the true state of affairs
of human beings that live in a Communist Regime. Communism as defined in the
Random House Dictionary is a system of social organization based on the holding
of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community
as a whole or to a state. In theory Communism as defined would serve for a great
Utopia. However, a state of Utopian bliss is furthest from accomplishment in
a Communist Regime. In order to survive in a Communist Regime one must develop
hypocrisy as a way of life. First and foremost, in a Communist State, all people
are supposed to be viewed in equal standing for the good of the state, yet Communism
usually arises out of Revolution, whereby one class overthrows the other with
violent force. This within itself is first class inequality; hypocrisy number
one. Second, in a Communist state, all people must treat the land and others
as they would want themselves to be treated for in mistreating others, or the
land it would undermine the true value of their community and their own self,
yet as, Anchee, described in Red Azalea, they where taught, how to destroy.....
they jumped off buildings to show their loyalty to Mao (13). When we look at
Communist Regimes and the state of affairs of their properties one can clearly
see that property is not the common concern of the people. Buildings, landmarks,
properties all lack the proper aspects of care, hypocrisy number two.
Third, prior to a Communist government hiring and placing each person in an
appropriate position of responsibility, they ascertain the individuals loyalty,
skills and levels of education. When Communist secretaries or soldiers accuse
their very own laborers of spying, and betraying their country, they are basically
accusing themselves, for it was they that placed the people in the first place,
hypocrisy number three. Fourth, in a Communist Regime the people are led to
believe that by facing continuous self-sacrifice and challenge they may eventually
bring prosperity to the community. However, this is furthest from the truth.
When an individuals will is continuously belittled, beaten, molded to serve
a purpose, and chained there is not much left to fulfill a wish for prosperity,
hypocrisy number three. For example, Little Green always sought to bathe and
maintain herself beautiful, for she was in love. She worked hard just as all
the other woman did, but she had an edge, which gave her will the strength to
carry on. That edge was love. Love is what kept her fresh and radiant every
day and night. Love fed Little Green s will. When they discovered Little Green
having sex with her love. The woman at the farm sought to accuse the man of
rape to save Little Greens honor, and he was executed. Unfortunately, by executing
the man, they also killed the very strength that maintained, Little Greens will
for life, her love. She was never able to regain her will and thus was lost
and incapable of fulfilling any communist wishes for prosperity. Even Anchee
tells of how the woman of the farm would gather to speak of, building a stronger
will, a will of magic, a will of victory (62). Because their wills had already
been belittled and molded time and time again. They needed to believe that they
could build a stronger will, for they had not much left.
I did not pick a specific passage in this novel because every word, every paragraph,
every chapter captivated my heart. Gao Xingjian, is an eloquent, descriptive
writer of great talent. When Xingjian assumes the she, character he is able
to visualize and describe precise thoughts, insights and feelings of woman.
Then he uses the you/narrator, to describe the history argue and ascertain the
self. Each character, I, she, he, you, introduces a mix of the best of the self
with the state and nature. Xingjian visualizes each character instead of introducing
language or vocabulary. He takes every character in a God like mythological
passage through nature, almost as if he where describing each brush, color,
and brush stroke in a painting. One may assume that he may have been influenced
by the Chinese language which moves up and down, instead of right to left in
the East, and left to right in the West, because of the way every character
moves. For example, he starts at the top, and continues downward to describe,
she, is getting old, the mirror tells her that her best years of her life have
been wasted... she s anxious to live, she says its only on the dance floor when
she closes her eyes and senses the touch of her partner that she feels alive.
He then introduces the duo in Chinese Language, with do you understand this
feeling of urgency? No you don t. Xiangjian then goes back up, she knows no
one really loves her (255). Also, introduced is the well-established sense of
morality in Chinese social behavior, and respect. For example, Xiangjian shows
this when he writes, A woman s body doesn t have sexuality alone, it s not just
for you men to release your lust into. A healthy woman of course needs sexual
love but sexual love alone isn t enough, a woman s instinct is also to be a
wife and to have a regular life (256). Here, he shows his respect and sense
of morality towards woman.
ALTER EGO MONOLOGUE: USAMA' S QUOTE ON EINSTEIN' S THEORIES CLUSTER 5
This is a world of changed plans, of sudden opportunities, of unexpected visions.
For in this world, time flows not evenly but fitfully and, as consequence people
receive fitful glimpses of the future. Thus in this World of brief scenes from
the future, few risks are taken."
"Those who have seen the future do not need to take risks, and those who
have not yet seen the future wait for their vision without taking risks. Some
few who have witnessed the future do all they can to refute it. Such people
stand on their balconies at twilight and shout that the future can be changed
that thousands of futures are possible. (87-88)."
ALTER EGO MONOLOGUE: BOUGEREAU' S ABDUCTION OF THE PSYCHE
I am Usama Al Karmi and I am in love with this flower. I see her but she cannot
see me for I am conspicuous enough. I often watch her as she passes by on her
way to the gymnasium. I have decided to approach her and ask her to marry me.
Such a flower must not wither, but bloom as one with nature. Her petals must
remain alive and vibrant to remind man of the beauty of the Universe. Her essence
must be shared to intoxicate human kind with beauty. I shall make her mine.
On a bright and blessed sun kissed morning, I decide to seek her attention.
A man cannot live without the beauty of such a flower, I say to her. Does such
a flower belong to a garden?
She looks startled but smiles. She knows I have given her a compliment and is
grateful. She tells me that she is taken, but her heart, soul and spirit still
wander in search of the tree that will provide shelter from the harshness of
life. She asks that I join her on the magic bus that takes her to work. She
says that beautiful magic happens on the bus. She begins to recount past trips.
Every day, she waits for the magic bus because it brings great surprises. She
says that the magic bus drivers are handsome, funny and witty, and that at times
good friends gather and laugh their way to work. Once, she said a fight broke
out, for women, as well as men vie for the seat next to the driver. She enjoyed
the magic bus, for in an hour s time she met new acquaintances, heard stories
and gazed at the diverse sites of the city. In one square block, she saw squirrels
mingling with birds, a garden with a maple tree; doctor and dental offices;
food markets; pharmacies; and a 24-hour quick shop. She tells me of the passenger
that sits at the very left who snores loudly. She thinks, she cannot escape
snores, they haunt her at night, and now they haunt her in the day. She looks
to the very right and the same thin Asian woman appears running up and down
the Avenue every morning. Often she wonders if the Asian jogger will disappear,
for she is anorexic looking. Then there is Winston, the shaggy dog. She says
Winston loves her. She looks for him every morning and greets him with a warm
hug. At times, she will miss the hug, because the Magic Bus arrives a bit early.
She continues and tells of the day, a lady passenger dared interrupt the bus
driver s magical show and in disgust he threw her off the bus. She in complete
defiance and disgust dropped her trousers and showed him a bit of her pink magical
moon. That pink magical moon was the greatest show of the year, and passengers
spoke about it for a long time.
Husbands and boyfriends do not care much for the Magic Bus, for wives and girlfriends
cannot contain their often-fanatical amusement over the magic.
You must know that now curiosity has entered my being, for I attempt to understand
the beautiful flowers reverence for the magical bus. What can possibly bring
magic into a square box filled with the working class?
She continues and tells that all the sites, sounds and conversations are preludes
to her much anticipated magical show, Bougereau s angelic painting of the Abduction
of the Psyche.
It must be magic for as the magic bus arrives at the second stop, I look and
there she is.
He is Bougereau's masterpiece. Waves of lively dark curls, graciously frame
angelic features, while milky white skin compliment sparkling brown eyes. Off
course he must dress appropriately and hide his immense wing span for he may
outdo the driver s magical show and be thrown from the bus, as well. He is proof
of heaven s beauty. Faced with the realization, that I live for this moment,
my heart thrashes about in wild fury. I am lost in the beauty of his face, and
yet I refuse to admit and submit to his longing gaze. I look away, yet the forces
of heaven are stronger. The angel has abducted my psyche.
She is Bougereau's stroke of beauty. Long dark tresses flow in a whirlwind of
gentle breeze caressing her face in playful coquetry. Eyes are as dark as the
heart of a sunflower who shown sadness, yet full of love. Her lips reach outwards
in a flirtatious seduction and upwards to heavens bliss. Her dress reveals the
bareness of perfect angelic symmetry. She smiles and the golden doors of heaven
are opened for the likes of her, belong only in paradise. She does not deserve
magic, she deserves heaven. I look away, yet the forces of heaven are stronger.
She has abducted my psyche.
You must be aware of the psychological pressures involved in fighting an abduction.
You think of any possibilities that may deny feelings. You attempt to think
rationally when your heart is beating irrationally. Your body is not your own,
for control has been lost to the abductor. You suffer hunger pangs when you
are not hungry. You begin to hyperventilate, yet attempt to show calm. You want
to run away, yet on the magical bus you become a prisoner of fate. You think
not to look into the eyes of heaven, and yet fate has bequeathed that you do.
To not look is to deny the fulfillment of the moment in time. With every bit
of denial left in my will, I attempt to resist the sparkling rays of heaven
and when I think I have won the battle, heaven smiles. Beautiful perfect rows
of milky pearls. He smiles as he approaches and, I pray and give thanks to God
in one breath for he has sent me a piece of heaven. A moment, so that I may
keep hope alive in my circle of time. I am flustered, happy, yet sad, joyful,
and smitten by heaven s angel. I fidget on the seat and unsuccessfully attempt
to subdue the outrageous beating of my heart. Bougereau s, angel sits next to
me and our eyes meet.
You must know that eyes are the doorways to the soul. Yes, our eyes meet in
a magical moment, and our souls are revealed to each other in a mountain of
bliss. We both begin to fidget for Soul Mountains do not like to wait when they
find one another. You must know that it is the spirit yelling at the body, screaming
out in utter happiness, we have found our, Soul Mountain. You must react, say
something. You must run away together, or kiss. You must abduct for the sake
I do nothing. I totally disagree, and refuse to look at him. Bougereau's, angel
decides to speak, and his voice numbs my being.
He says Good morning, or hello, how are you? , and I say I am fine and smile.
He tells me I look very nice, and that he missed me on the magical bus yesterday.
He sits closer and his arm brushes against mine sending waves of heavenly bliss
through my being. He smiles once again. I say thank you for the compliment,
and explain my absence on the magical bus the day before last. Then, I return
the compliment. He looks at me. This time with a longing gaze of centuries past.
I notice a hint of tears in his eyes. Perhaps, he is tired or allergic. But
he looks as though he may cry. I am perplexed. I want to cry as well. I want
to cry with him and fall into his arms. Yes, I want to complete Bougereau s
painting. I want to be abducted by the angel who holds the mountain of my soul.
Both, she and I, close our eyes. In that magical moment, I hold her in a loving
embrace that brings us towards heavenly bliss. We rise above the clouds and
into the warmth of peaceful nothingness. I hold her with all my might, for I
will not let go of my happiness. I live for this moment in time. Happiness is
not the magical bus, nor a state, nor wealth, nor power. Happiness is the beauty;
I carry in my arms. She looks into my eyes with utter wonderment and covers
herself, for now our souls are revealed to the world. I seek to stop this moment
in time forever, yet I cannot. For in this world we are the present, and the
past and the future are entwined. This is a world of pure sincerity. This is
a world where a moment s delight is in events not forecasted, but in events
of pure unadulterated love. In this World only those who know God, may live
in the moment in time. Both she and I remain in this embrace for as long as
the time is permitted, for we shall not let go of our Psyche.
Don De Lillo, cleverly explores the issues of individual freedoms within the
context of human existentionalism in a specific Time and/or Space. He does this
by introducing each characters individualism with words and images. Then he
blends the words to form a sort of sculpture by which he sets forth a message.
Following in Einstein s theoretical tradition he details the individual s character
freedoms within a specific space in time, and other spaces in time. Furthermore,
in following Einstein s theoretical traditions of time and space DeLillo places
each individuals character into a specific time, space category, in order to
make a critical statement. For example, in the massive Moon wedding ceremony
at Yankee Stadium, De Lillo, clearly states:
And here is the drama of mechanical routine (time) played out with living figures
It knocks him back in awe, the loss of scale and intimacy, the way love and
multiplied out, the numbers and shaped crowd. This really scares him, a mass
people turned into a sculptured object. (7)
Reference can be made to the theories of two times, body time and mechanical
time (Lightman,23-27). In body time, individuals listen and obey their heartbeats
and feel the rhythms of their moods and desires, whereas in mechanical time
there are those who think that bodies do not exist, and the body is a thing
to be ordered, not obeyed. In other words DeLillo, views the massive Moon wedding
ceremony as being as a mass of non-existing bodies.
However, he does not place Karen in a mechanical time frame context, by introducing
Karen s individual freedoms one may in infer that she lives in a world where
time is not continuous. It stops and it starts again. According to Karen s individual
freedoms, time is a stretch of nerve fibers. Her nervous action; and the abrupt
stops and beginnings flowing from one segment in time to another are clear.
As she jumps from being a Moonie and getting married at a the Moon wedding ceremony
to erratically walking down a main street in Kansas, then taking off with Scott
and living at Bills home, to having sex with Bill, while sleeping with Scott,
to taking off to NYC to find Bill, then staying at Brita s apartment, and visiting
the homeless people, or lean-to s, and following Omar a heroine dealer.
One clear indication of Karen's placement within a World where time is not continuous,
is DeLillo s reference as follows:
"She could not see for a number of seconds,
maybe a half a minute, or could see only glow, intense white shadow, and she
stood dizzily where she was and waited for the street to reappear so she might
walk out of the glow and come into objects and surfaces and the world that
we attach to them (148)."
Reference maybe made to the theories of discontinuance of time. There are
tiny disconnections in time that a single second would have to be magnified
and dissected into one thousand parts......(Lightman 140-141).
Scott's individual freedoms on the other hand, place him in a space where
the passage of time bring absolute order. From taking Karen off the main street
in Kansas and bringing her to Bill's house; to picking up Brita and making
certain that all was in proper order with the details of Brita s photos of
Bill; to cleaning the house and placing all of Bills possessions in neatly
stacked folders, and reading Bills mail and placing each in distinct divisions
Reference maybe made to the theories of order as the law of nature. In this
World, the passage of time brings increasing order (Lightman 67-68).
In introducing Brita's character and her obsession to record everything she
can see; and too try and retain images she comes across during her photographic
journeys; and her frustration with not being able to retain memory, as stated;
Things fading all the time, hard to retain (150). She maybe placed in a World
without memories, a world of the present( Lightman 80-84). The past exists
only in books, in documents, in pictures of writers.
Bill's individual actions in taking off and leaving Scott and Karen without
notice to meet with Charlie, then taking off to try and rescue the hostage,
then ignoring his injuries after getting hit by a car, and taking the ferry
across to Beirut where he finally dies, clearly place him with people who
live for the moment in time, where cause and effect are erratic. Sometimes
cause precedes the effect and sometimes the effect precedes a cause (Lightman
39-42). In this world unpredictability is the life of a novelist. They delight
in events not forecasted, nor planned, and they learn to live for the moment.
This is a world of sincerity in which every word spoken speaks to that moment.
The Hostage situation may also be referred under a World without freedom where
the future is fixed, time is rigid(Lightman
158.) In this world every action, every thought, every breath of wind is completely
determined, and fossilizes the future as well as the past. In a World of fixed
future, there can be no right or wrong, because right and wrong demand freedom
of choice, but if each action is already chosen there can be no freedom of
Zayd Mutee Damaj s, novel is based primarily in the highlands of Yemen and
sets forth the message of how human dignity and virtue may still be retained
by individuals who have been exploited while held hostage of systematic atrocities.
The novel is not based on ideological beliefs nor does it set forth heroic
acts. Instead the novel concentrates on the human endurance of the will. The
young hostage s defiance to yield. Held as hostage a young country boy is
thrown into a life as a sexual slave in a palace of oppressed women and authoritarian
men. He meets another young hostage duwaydr, and quickly befriends him as
they are both in similar situations. However, duwaydr, dies of tuberculosis.
He describes the palace women as being jealous and petty, therefore removing
any feelings of pity from the readers. Finally, the hostage runs away from
the place of burial of his friend, duwaydr, towards freedom, away from the
woman he loves, towards a new beginning.
NEWS OF A KIDNAPPING
The father did not have a moment s peace. He hardly slept; he would leave
the table in the middle of the meals and take long walks along the beach at
all hours of the day and night...... On Tuesday... he could see the entire
plan, and this gave him back serenity. On Wednesday he returned to his routine.
He got up at six, showered.........On Thursday morning just as he had promised,
Dr. Patarroyo sent an affirmative reply to his request. The priest had no
lunch. At ten to seven he reached the studios of Inravision... and in front
of the cameras he improvised his direct message to Escobar. These where the
sixty seconds that changed the little life that still remained to him... he
had accomplished his goal of leading Pablo Escobar by the hand into prison.
The final process had begun but the outcome was uncertain because public opinion
was divided between the masses of people who believed the good father was
a saint, and the unbelievers who where convinced he was half-mad(240).
I choose this passage because it describes the actual context of Gabriel Garcia
Marquez s novel. His precise, descriptive and factual statements, based entirely
on the testimonies of the ten men and women who where kidnapped by Pablo Escobar
s men and used as bargaining chips with the United States, in order to fight
In this world time is absolutely the infinite ruler. Those of religious faith
see time as the evidence for God. For surely nothing could be universal and
not be divine. All absolutes are part of the One Absolute. And wherever absolutes,
so too time. Time is the reference against which all actions are judged. Time
is the clarity for seeing right and wrong. A World in which time is absolute
is a world of consolation (Lightman 33-37).
"And now what held her tight?--a band?-- several bands?--across her chest
and thighs, her left arm tangled in one of them? and her forehead had cracked
hard against something she hadn t seen, it was pitch black she was blinking
squinting trying to see, she was blind and that roaring in her ears as of
a jet plane and a man s voice incredulous, Oh God. Oh God. Oh God (46).
I choose this passage because it clearly indicates Joyce Carol Oates repetitive
technique or re-imagining of the Chappaquiddick events and the death of Mary
Jo Kopechne. Her continuous depiction of the horrific event makes clear reference
to being stuck in a certain dimension of time (Lightman 61-65).
In this world the texture of time happens to be sticky. Individual people
become stuck in some point of their lives and do not get free. The tragedy
of this world is that no one is happy, whether stuck in time of pain or of
joy. The tragedy of this world is that everyone is alone. For a life in the
past cannot be shared with the present. Each person who gets stuck in times
gets stuck alone (Lightman 61-65).