In The Country of Men Essay
Hisham Matar’s 2009 novel, In The Country of Men, offers up the narrative of a child, Suleiman, a boy living under a dictatorship and a family that keeps secrets from him. Through Suleiman, Matar reveals an interpretation of life under a dictatorship through expressing a child’s experiences and views of betrayal and loyalty. Matar symbolizes this child as the nation under a dictatorship. In particular, Matar attempts to further express the transformation of people living under a dictatorship by symbolizing the child, Suleiman’s, through many encounters with betrayals and secrets from his family members, conversion from a naive, ignorant, and subdued boy to an exposed and even malicious and powerful “man”. How about: Through Suleiman’s many encounters with betrayals and secrets in his family and his resulting conversion from a naive, ignorant, and subdued boy to an exposed (?) and even malicious and powerful “man,” Hisham Matar suggests that a nation under a dictatorship, too, undergoes a transformation from _____ to ______. One of the first examples of a change in Suleiman’s personality is when Suleiman begins to realize Mama has been lying to him about her “medicine”. For Suleiman’s entire life, Mama has hoped for Suleiman’s negligence of her illegal drug life. As Suleiman begins to suspect Mama’s lies, he attracts to truth. At one point, Suleiman even pours out one of Mama’s drugs in the sink and Mama scolds him asking why. “Why did you pour the bottle in the sink” In this quote, Mama expresses her anger towards Suleiman for dumping out her alcohol. Mama is worried that Suleiman finally found out about her illegal drug life. Mama attempts to keep her illegal drug life away from Suleiman for his own good because she believes this is best for Suleiman. This too demonstrates dictatorial life. Mama’s drugs represent power and corruption and she is the dictator. She often abuses Suleiman with her drugs and through this abuse through...
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