English 2230 WB: World Literature
Essay 3 (Mahfouz, Midaq Alley)
Answer both questions below. Each answer must be NO longer than an extended paragraph (8-12 complete statements). Copy and paste the two questions on your document before you answer, and please be specific. No textual evidence is required for this assignment.
1. One character who represents the force of good in Mahfouz’s novel is Radwan Husseini, the landlord. A man of great wisdom and compassion, he councils everyone in Midaq Alley. Why is the author sending Husseini to Mecca and Medina, rather than any other of the alley’s sinning and corrupt inhabitants? What’s his implicit message?
2. Why might Naguib Mahfouz end the novel with the words of Sheikh Darwish, the former English teacher, who has become homeless and penniless, but has found a certain liberation in rejecting the trappings of ‘modern’ life: pursuit of wealth, status, ambition, desire to belong? Darwish says famously: “Let him who dies of love, die sad; there’s no good in any love, without death … [oh] fulfiller of all needs … mercy … mercy … I will be patient as long as I live. For do not all things come to an end … and the word for this in English is ‘end’ and it is spelled e-n-d.”
Due date: Sunday, December 13th (midnight)
Submit in Microsoft word file, not pdf.
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