Naguib Mahfouz The Sugar Street satirizing male Chauvinism in Egypt
Street sugar is the last in Naguib’s Cairo trilogy following the Palace Walk and the Palace Desire all published in 1957. The book is a satire to a primitive male chauvinistic Egyptian society at the pre-colonial days where colonization finally brings in civilization. Being the last in the Cairo Trilogy, Street sugar is a novel that is captured in a society that has been transformed and seemingly, women are viewed differently in the present (Alboumaaty, 125). However, Street Sugar does not fail to inspire the reader into discovering that the society of the past was a chauvinistic one something that comes close to being a satirization of the past that will never be (Hozan & Marshour). Those being criticized are the old men of the past like Alsayyid Ahmad Abd al-Jawwad who have always held the sentiments that a man is infallible and his decisions are supreme over those of the woman in the Egyptian house.
Jawwad believes that there is a status that his family his and his sons should not just bring any girl to his family. When it is time for Jawwad’s son, Kamal to marry, Kamal has fallen in deep love with Fu'ad al-amzawi a daughter to his shop attendant. However, Jawwad is objected to the marriage saying, "Family origin is everything (Mahfouz, 22). " Kamal and Fu'ad al-amzawi are in love but Fu'ad al-amzawi is never going to be allowed by Jawwad to be married to his family. This is simply because she comes from a poor family. " To the family of Jawwad, Kamal is a disappointment as one learns from her mother’s exclamation, “How can you want to marry into the family of a pressman?.
I found them living in a cellar on a street ( Mahfouz, 248). " To the mother of Kamal, an educated woman is a drunkard and a harlot that should never be brought to their family. Jawwad adds, "There's no way a woman who works can be a good wife. (Mahfouz, 275). Girls crowd the streets and men don't trust them anymore (Mahfouz, 39). “All girls also join schools today, just "like boys. " To the men of the modern society, they feel threatened now that their dominance is no more and express doubt for the uncertainty that looms in the future. It will not be forgotten also that Islam, the new religion in the land also permits men to marry more than one wife but will never allow a woman to be married by more than one men.
This is also a new version of exploitation because men should portray a certain degree of responsibility and affection for their wives just like their wives is required by tradition and the new religion in Egypt (Strickland). The source will be a very good supplementary guide to a novice to the Sugar Street. It is highly recommended for readers who want to clearly understand what Naguib is saying in his last episode of the Cairo Trilogy. Gover, Daniel. "When Cairo Exploded in the Past: The Historical Fiction of Naguib Mahfouz. " Journal of the African Literature Association 8. This will help them to be able to link what is in the last episode and thus clearly understand the agenda in the Sugar Street of Mahfouz Naguib.
This is the best guide to the Trilogy that this research has come across during this research. It is thus recommended that readers read and re-read the guide together with the Trio of Naguib publications as it will help to open an understanding to the themes, characters and the literary styles employed in the works of the author. Highly recommended for all readers. Mahfouz, Naguib. Liberty University, 2015. This source is an analysis of Naguib’s trilogy. Strickland takes the reader on a literary tour that helps them interlinking the Palace Walk, the Palace Desire and the last in the trilogy; Sugar street which is what this study was deemed to analyze. The source clearly exposes the thematic issues and discusses the characters from the end of the trilogy to the end.
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