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Language and style - In The Country Of Men (Hisham Matar)


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An analysis of the language and style of Hisham Matar's 'In the Country of Men'.

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Language and style - In The Country Of Men (Hisham Matar)

  1. 1. Language and Style In the Country of Men – Hisham Matar
  2. 2. First person narration • Internal monologue of an only child – allows for readers to understand things that Suleiman does not
  3. 3. Genre
  4. 4. Names and Naming • Characters exist in relation to Suleiman • Suleiman = Emperor of the Ottoman Empire – expanded the empire – instigated social and cultural developments – enemy to the Faith who suffered defeat under the Christians.
  5. 5. Poetry of language • e.g. description of Rashid being dragged to the gallows – ‘He reminded me of the way a shy woman would resist her friends’ invitation to dance, pulling her shoulders to her ears and waving her index finger nervously in front of her mouth’ (p. 186).
  6. 6. setting • Lepcis Magma – symbolically a fallen civilisation
  7. 7. Heat / Summer • represents Hell, as Suleiman tries to avoid Hell by practising running over the bridge to Paradise. • Its glare stupefies the people leaving only the children to jostle each other around outside. • No school allows Suleiman to have the freedom to observe adults
  8. 8. Sea • Calm - just at the end of the road. • Suleiman looks to be cooled and cleansed from the dirty activities he faces day-to- day. • Tries to take Kareem into it to seek some solace from his grief but Kareem resists. • almost drowns Bahloul , exerts power and gives in to the base urges
  9. 9. The Guide • symbolism of replacing the picture of Baba – loyalty to the regime and the strains on family
  10. 10. Children’s Games • ‘My Land, Your Land’ – represents the political ‘games’ of the older men • squabbles and fights -a microcosm for the violence in the country.
  11. 11. Words • Nasser and his Typerwriter – Subversive pamphlets • Burning of the books – Violent oppression – removal of intellectuals who might questions • Democracy Now • Moosa – poet and lover of language
  12. 12. Storytelling • Scheherazade – Najwa condemns S for being ‘a coward who accepted slavery over death’ (p. 15). over time. • Suleiman and Najwa – storytellers in their own right • Ustath Rashid – scholar of history