Children of the New World

1489 words 6 pages
Children of the New World: Acting out “The role of Algerian women in their own society has rarely been what it has seemed” (Heggoy 1). Prior to the Algerian war, women in Algerian society were under patriarchal rule and, under such rule, were expected to meet certain expectations. Among other rules and regulations, Algerian women were prohibited from being outside their home unaccompanied and were required to keep themselves heavily “veiled” at all times. They were not to question the authority of the Algerian men, especially the ones in their family. Despite these limitations, Algerian women found a place in the revolution. Although it sometimes meant defying their status quo as women in Algerian society, women used the resources and …show more content…

“For a happy wife, living inside a house she never leaves, as tradition has prescribed, how for the first time to decide to act? How to act? It’s a foreign word for someone imprisoned in custom (and to experience that custom as an instinct, as if every woman in her family, in the neighboring homes, in all the previous generations, had bequeathed it to her in the form of imperative wisdom). The custom of having that behavior be intended only for a man, the husband, the father, or the brother.”(137) It is obvious that the notion of acting is new to Cherifa, who never questioned her role as a woman in her society which confines her to a life of domesticity. Despite the newness of this idea to act, Cherifa unveils a new sense of agency when realizes that she must “create a new step, a new approach-- a different way of seeing, being seen; of existing” in order to protect her husband. By protecting Youssef, she is fighting for the Algerian cause. “Cherifa’s existential epiphany also signals Djebar’s sensitivity towards locate and contingent tactics of resistance” (Lindsey Moore). Cherifa represents the struggle of women finding their place in the resistance. Should they remain loyal to their roles as women, or do they do their part to contribute by helping the men in their family? Throughout Children of the New World, Djebar demonstrates a wide range of contributions that the women, both inside and outside the movement, are


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