Contrast….1 Order#: 510167 Topic: Contrast and compare 'Karnak Cafe' and 'The Day the Leader was Killed' by Naghuib Mahfouz Karnak Cafe is an interesting novel. The theme of the novel and the author’s attitude towards the theme evoke curiosity. The level of detachment achieved by the author in this otherwise serious plot is commendable…
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The mutual interaction over delicate situations between the characters reveal in the most natural way, the convictions for which the novel stands for. This is the uniqueness of the writing style of the author. As the story develops, it becomes poignant without losing its ground and reality. Mahfouz has created a sensational and beautiful character in Qurunfula, the proprietress of Cafe. She is just like the oases in desert. The stern author becomes an entirely different man when he portrays her character. He turns a poet in adoring her qualities of head and heart. How she puts up with the vicissitudes of life is brilliantly elucidated by the author. How intelligently she detaches from her glorious past and maintains her essential dignity as a common individual, is a lesson for womenfolk in any part of the world. Contrast….2 The protagonist, though entered the Cafe, by chance, he was surprised to see Qurunfula there in her new role. He describes his past relationship with her in a cryptic style. Mahfouz (2008, p.4) writes, “We had never had any kind of relationship, whether of affection, self-interest, or simply courtesy.” How and to what extent she is able to retain her past beauty of the body and nobility of soul! Here is another masterful description of the Karnak Cafe with the presence of Qurunfula. Mahfouz (p.5) writes, “Here you get to sense past and present, in a warm embrace, the sweet past and glorious present. To top it all, there is that enticement that the unknown brings.” The author has intelligently analyzed the contemporary ground realities of the Egyptian government. Though the governments change, nothing much happens to improve the social and economic conditions of the common people. The author touches upon the issues, how psychological imprisonment works in a seemingly free society, how an atmosphere of fear persists and how people are subjugated. No positive improvement is seen to break the age-old societal traditions, the freedom of the individuals is not guaranteed. It is a peculiar type of society of mutual suspicion. No violent or radical reactions are depicted in the novel from the side of the government or from the people, though! The discontent of the people is seething within and they are compelled to carry on with the available discipline and remain amenable to the bitter realities of the Cairo-world from where political power is unleashed. Kanak Cafe is sort of a ‘mini parliament’ of the people where a cross-section of the people meets. An attempt has been made by the author to depict the generation gap that was Contrast….3 emerging in the society, the clash of the values of the old and the combustible younger generation. The legendary former dancer Qurunfula is the link, and the ambience created by her is to the liking of both the old and new, for strange reasons. Perfect human values, love and affection springs forth in that Cafe, and the people gather there, find psychological relief by discussing the hot political issues and by tendering varied reactions. The disappearance of the three young customers of the Cafe, create terror in the hearts of the customers. Various guesses float forth about their fates. Secret police took them to an unknown destination and they were cruelly tortured. The pleasant atmosphere in the Cafe stands vitiated due to mistrust with the fear that someone amongst them is the police informer. The heaven of
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4 Pages(1000 words)Literature review
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