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How do the authors of the two novels 'Broken April' and 'The Thief and the Dogs', use darkness to reflect the protagonist's state of mind?

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Introduction

How do the authors of the two novels 'Broken April' and 'The Thief and the Dogs', use darkness to reflect the protagonist's state of mind? Throughout the ages of literature, darkness has often been used as symbolic in the representation of evil, fear, concealment, loneliness and blindness. The authors of the novels 'Broken April' and 'The Thief and the Dogs 'have used this image of darkness to reflect the protagonist's state of mind. Both, Kadare and Mahfouz have used dark imagery repeatedly to reflect the feelings of 'loneliness', 'isolation' and 'fear'. The dark imagery reflects the thoughts and inner sentiments of the protagonists in both the novels. To understand the symbolism of darkness, we must first understand the role of the protagonist, the society around him, and the influence of his friends or family in shaping his character. In The thief and the Dogs, Said Mahran is the main character. Said is condemned as a criminal. He is a frustrated man who has been moulded and mistreated by his own society. He is a victim of his community. He is born poor and deprived of the basic human needs. ...read more.

Middle

His life in the world was anyways filled with darkness because of fear and isolation, and he was running from his isolation from society to isolation from the world forever. Isolation is a very important theme highlighted by the dark imagery in the novels. Isolation, in this context, refers to alienation from the society and the world. In Broken April, Kadare uses dark images to portray the feeling of isolation in Gjorg's mind and from his society. For e.g. the use of darkness in the lines 'Suddenly, on the highroad, with the night coming on, he was seized by a dark premonition... claim the protection due to a guest'5, show that Gjorg felt as if he was separated from the world. He was blinded by the darkness and he felt isolated because there was 'not a house, not a living soul' around him from whom he could 'claim protection'. Furthermore, when he was dying, he thinks of the black ox6, which still had not been sold. Here, the author is comparing Gjorg to the black ox. Black signifies isolation. Gjorg, like the black ox, was isolated from society and there was nothing he could do about it. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we can see the predominant use of darkness in these two novels, and how they are used to depict the protagonist's state of mind. The protagonist's relate most of their thoughts to darkness. They view everything in a dark manner. Their feelings, thoughts and actions are all a reflection of their dark minds. Isolation from society has leaded them to view the world as a dull place to live in. The author has used the image of darkness to relate to their thoughts and feelings because dark objects are referred to as gloomy, shadowy and dull objects. Likewise, Gjorg and Said have very gloomy, dull and depressed lives. 1 P 145 - Broken April by Ismail Kadare - Vintage 2003 2 ibid P 159 3 The Thief and the Dogs, Naguib Mahfouz, - Anchor Books 1984, P 234 4 ibid P 277 5 op. cit. Kadare, Ismail, P 76 6 ibid, P 216 7 op. cit. Mahfouz, Naquib - P 189 8 ibid, P 278 9 op. cit. Kadare, Ismail, P 60 10 ibid, P 153 11 op. cit. Mahfouz, Naquib P 213 12 ibid, P 224 13 ibid, P 265 ...read more.

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