Analysis Of His Grace By Mikhail Naimy

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In her book, New Tribalisms the Resurgence of and Ethnicity discusses the nature of ethnic, Joane Nagel discusses the nature of ethnicity and its relationship to culture in the United States. Mikhail Naimy’s short story, “His Grace” expresses a message that supports Nagel’s claims about ethnic identity and cultural construction. Nagel acknowledged that the socially constructed aspects of ethnicity are flexible, elective, and constantly negotiated. By delineating the Bey’s interactions with Roukus Nusour and Abu ‘Assaf, Nagel’s argument that ethnic identity and the culture formed inside it are constructed both internally and externally. Ethnicity is formed by a combination of many identifying characteristics unify groups of people. Nagel recognized …show more content…
Negal described the situation as a necessity behind the falsification. To gain an advantage provided to certain ethnic groups, some will try “asserting minority status or even changing their ethnicity. Ethnic switching (Barth 1969) to gain advantage can be contentious when resources are limited.” (248). With limited resources, everyone is struggling to survive and even a legitimate claim to ethnicity can be questioned for authenticity. Those who falsely claim a role, like the “Bey” did in “His Grace” is a direct example of changing for the sake of …show more content…
“Groups construct culture in many ways which involve mainly the reconstruction of historical culture, and the construction of new culture.” (251). Historical culture found in an immigrant’s country of origin is brought over to the United States and rarely does it remain stagnant. The same way ethnic identity undergoes change over time, so does the culture that is embedded inside ethnicity. For example, in “His Grace”, the differences between the people’s behavior in the village of the Da’waq and New York City is a notable difference. “Time went by and I emigrated to America and opened a restaurant in New York. One night I happened to overhear three of my customers talking about ‘His Grace the Bey’.” (119). For one thing, one of the Bey’s people starting businesses would be underheard of in the village according to Naimy’s description. In addition, the customers proceed to gossip about the Bey’s sightings doing work apparently beneath him. All three of these actions would not be tolerated in the village but in the United States, a new culture has been constructed, and through it, a new social hierarchy. Aspects of historical culture, like the Syrian restaurant and a Syrian neighborhood merge with adaptions of it in the United States. If ethnic identity for the Bey is a powerful and respected role in Lebanon, then in the United States he is famous in

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