Amin Maalouf Utilizes Language And Religion In Leo Africanus

904 words - 4 pages

Amin Maalouf unlike many writers of his era portrayed an adventure of a unique protagonist striving to find a significant meaning within his life. Maaloufs Book 1 clearly conveys the child hood of Hasan, in other words, Leo Africanus and how he perceived the events that took place which, as one could determine, shaped his life. Maalouf conveys this in such a unique manner, with literary devices which exalt the principle of cultural patriotism. This is done in such a way that further intentions can be extricated such as the defiance of typical stereotypes. From years upon years, their have been numerous accounts on which the Muslim culture has been accused of violating human rights, abusing ethical principles and even Terrorism through a religious "Jihad." For this blatant reason, one is able to praise such a book which successfully attempts to convey the hardships of Western influence in terms of war and religion. Maalouf utilizes Language and Religion in order to shed light and give an insight in to the Muslim culture whilst indirectly defying stereo types of the west. In order to strengthen the effect of this message upon the reader, Maalouf presents several literary devices such as the use of an unfamiliar language to authenticate his book, a clear chronological structure and the manipulation of frame stories that give the reader to an extent, limited omniscience.

Writers such as Maalouf himself, recognize the importance of literary techniques such as the manipulation of structure. Structure in itself provides a basis for character development and this is essential to convey the writer's intention. The Novel, is divided in to four books, that contain several chapters which each contribute to a significant part of Africanus's life. The first book, entitled "The book of Granada" depicts his early childhood and the events that took place. From this book, the reader becomes aware about the political situation that had overcome Granada which determined the fate of its Muslims. Similarly today, despite the technical differences the central conflict is evident, and this territorial necessitate can be seen today in Middle Eastern countries such as Iraq and Iran.

Due to this chronological structure, one can understand that despite him not mentally being fully aware, he has an important role to play. We see how the Muhammad put a certain pressure on Selma to give birth to a male; "Do not disappoint me..." This is device is extremely important however would not be significant if it were not due to the use of frame stories.

Frame stories are an effective way of conveying the past when the protagonist was not present to elucidate the story himself. The fact that the words may not be...

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