Symbolism In Najib Mahfuz's Half A Day

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Half a Day and Zaabalawi Najib Mahfuz was born in Cairo in 1911. Mahfuz is a 1988 Nobel Prize winner in literature, by displaying artistic, cultural, and structure through his writing. Mahfuz uses symbols and hidden messages in his writing to make the reader search for the true meaning be hidden them. Two of Mahfouz stories show his rage of creativity, Half a Day and Zaabalawi. In these two short stories, he shows great examples of his culture through time and religion. In Half a Day, Mahfuz explains the value of time through a school day. Zaabalawi is a story about a man searching for a supreme being. Both shorts stories are mostly straight forward and to the point but the symbols and message in the stories grabbed my attention as a reader. …show more content…
It also explains the value of time, age and maturity. In the beginning its starts off as a child then later on in the novel he begins to age as the story goes on. My interpretation of the story is that life goes by faster than you know it. The narrator’s didn’t want to leave his father due to the changes he would have to face in school. It seem that the boy was afraid to step out into the real world. Once the narrator enter into school, he experience so many new things like meeting new friends and enjoying an average school day, but a huge turn came within the story. The shift in the story is when the boy realize that he is no longer young boy in school anymore, but a grown man. According to the Overview of “Half a Day by: Dell 'Amico Carol, he states that “In this "after school" portion of the story, the middle-aged man becomes a "Grandpa" whom a young man "gallantly" offers to escort across a busy street. Coming of age and maturation correspond to the time spent at school, and this second part of the story covers aging or growing old.”(Carol par.3) When the boy came out of school to return home he realizes that there has been so many changes within the town he lived in. He stated “Where was the street lined with gardens? Where had it disappeared to? When did all these vehicles invade it? And when did all these hordes of humanity come to rest upon its surface? How did these hills of refuse come to cover its …show more content…
In the beginning of the novel, the young prepares for school. I believe that the story is referring to school as life. In the story the father said “School’s not punishment. It’s the factory that makes useful men out of boys. Don’t you want to be like your father and brother?” (Literature a World of Writing: Half a Day pg. 495) The story really doesn’t covers a half a day of school but it covers the full lifetime of the young boy/man. Life has a way of showing you knew things. The narrator enters into school not know what to expect. He started to cry as he enter in school. Life can be scary sometimes when you break away from family, friends and love ones and enter into a different atmosphere. As the narrator enter into school he meets a women at the entrance of the school. The women states “This is your new home. Here too there are mothers and fathers. Here there is everything that is enjoyable and beneficial to knowledge and religion. Dry your tears and face life joyfully.”(Literature a World of Writing: Half a Day pg. 495) While in school he cross paths with new friends and learn new activates. As the boy enjoy school, he started to experience some hardship. Life has a way of throwing curve balls. As humans we prepare for the worst but pray for the best. In the story winds and accidents came out of nowhere. Also the lady in the book would “scowl and scold” (Literature a World of Writing: Half a

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