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January 29, 2022, 06:28:46 am

Author Topic: Practice Text Response, looking for feedback :)  (Read 1670 times)  Share 

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Eugenet17

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Practice Text Response, looking for feedback :)
« on: February 27, 2014, 10:52:23 pm »
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IN THE COUNTRY OF MEN PRACTICE TEXT RESPONSE #11

PROMPT: Suleiman should not wear the guilt of betrayal as it is the adults in his life who let him down. To what extent do you agree?

Hisham Matar’s In the Country of Men demonstrates that Suleiman’s acts of betrayal throughout the text arise from the influence of the adults within his internal and external environment. Matar explores the protagonist’s increasing desire to transition into manhood in order to support his mother through her declining mental state, resulting in the incitement of his betrayal of Kareem. Through the depiction of Suleiman’s inner conflicts, the reader is consequently compelled to acquire a sense of compassion for Suleiman’s actions. Through Suleiman’s betrayal of Bahloul’s trust, the author demonstrates his gradual desensitisation towards violence despite Najwa’s attempts to protect him from the reality of political oppression.  Thus, the portrayal of Suleiman’s oppressive environment encourages the reader to empathise with his acts of violence throughout the text. Furthermore, Matar explores the concept that it is human nature to conform to one’s environment through Suleiman’s constant submission to authority as a result of his overt sense of nationalism towards Libya, leading to his betrayal of Baba. This directs the reader to sympathise with the protagonist’s mistakes throughout the text as a result of the totalitarian nature of his environment. In the Country of Men depicts the influence of the adults within Suleiman’s internal and external environment on the incitement of his acts of betrayal throughout the text.

Matar depicts Suleiman’s increasing urge to become a man throughout the text in order to support his mother through her declining mental state which in turn prompts his betrayal of Kareem. The author explores the juxtaposition between the protagonist’s initial attitude to his mother’s condition in which he “longed” for how “things had been” and his fantasies in the latter stages of the text where he strived to “be a man” and “rescue” his mother. Suleiman reflects upon the nights in which mama had collapsed where he couldn’t “carry her” because he was “only nine”, ultimately fueling his fantasies for revenge which he enacted “over and over”. This indicates Suleiman’s frustration towards not being able to support his mother which leads to his constant desire to “change the past”. This point is further reiterated when Suleiman states that he couldn’t wait to “be a man” in order to “rescue that girl” from her “black day” during the nights in which Mama’s condition was especially worse. Thus, Suleiman realizes that hoping for his mother’s condition to improve on it’s own accord is of no use, consequently seeking to become a man in order to send his mother to somewhere “beautiful and green” which is symbolic of a world free of her mental conflicts. This signifies Suleiman’s eventual urge to adopt the responsibility of a man in order to support his mother. Through Suleiman’s narration of his betrayal of Kareem, Matar explores the extent of Suleiman’s desire to grow up and become a man.  Suleiman abruptly defends himself when Kareem is mocked for “befriending a child”  in which he began to feel a “dark force” gaining “momentum" as a result of Kareem’s agreement that he was a child. This indicates the extent of Suleiman’s desire to become a man where any form of opposition towards his sense of manhood incites his urge to defend his sense of pride. This is further exemplified following the fight between Suleiman and Kareem where Suleiman challenges Kareem to a game of “My land, your land” in order to prove if he was a “real man”. Hence, Suleiman attempts to restore his pride through a competition in order to prove his manhood to himself and those around him. This represents the sense of importance Suleiman places on being a man which prompts his betrayal of Kareem. Matar explores Suleiman’s rising urges to grow up throughout the text in order to support his mother through her mental struggles, resulting in his betrayal of Kareem.

Matar explores Suleiman’s increasing violent tendencies despite Najwa’s attempts to shelter him from the reality of political oppression, leading to his betrayal of Bahloul’s trust.  Matar demonstrates Najwa’s attempts to protect Suleiman from the conflict around him, stating that children “aren’t supposed” to know “these things” upon his inquiry about the intentions of the Revolutionary Committee. This signifies that Najwa believes that Suleiman is unprepared to understand the conflict within his environment despite acknowledging her son’s concern of the family’s safety. Thus, this represents Najwa’s attempts to protect Suleiman from the instances of conflict within his environment. The author depicts the extent of violence within Libya in which “The Guide” states that the Revolutionary forces have “the right” to “use terror” to eliminate anyone who “stands against them”. Hence, Suleiman is exposed to an environment in which violence is common place and used to exert authority which results in his gradual acceptance of violence. This represents the acquisition and maintenance of power that is achieved by the Revolutionary Committee through the use of violence. Matar explores the influence of the oppression of the Revolutionary Committee through the protagonist’s narrative of his attempted drowning of Bahloul. Suleiman witnesses Bahloul drowning at a pier and upon realizing that he was Bahloul’s only hope, he finds himself “pushing” Bahloul down “without deciding to”. This indicates that Suleiman is a reflection of the Revolutionary Committee through his utilization of violence in order to maintain his sense of power. This point is further exemplified when Suleiman proceeds to get angered “even more” upon Bahloul’s attempts to “defend himself” by “grabbing” Suleiman’s ankle. Thus, Suleiman detests any form of opposition towards his agency over others, leading to further use of violence, much like the nature of the Revolutionary Committee. Furthermore, Suleiman is demonstrated to be unaware of his subconscious violent urges when he stops drowning Bahloul upon realizing that his resistance “had sank away”, before checking if “his nose” was okay. Thus, Suleiman is immersed in his desire for violence and disregards the vicious nature of his actions and it’s consequences until they had been committed. This represents the extent of influence of the Revolutionary Committee in which Suleiman subconsciously adopts their tendency to utilise violence without thought.  Through Suleiman’s attempted drowning of Bahloul, Matar demonstrates the protagonist’s gradual acceptance of violence despite his mother’s desire to protect him from the reality of political oppression.

Matar explores the idea that it is human nature to conform to one’s environment through Suleiman’s lack of independent thought when confronted by authority as a result of his nationalistic connection towards Libya which in turn leads to his betrayal of Baba. Through Suleiman’s narrative of Ustath Rashid’s execution, the author explores the motif of nationalism as enforced by the Revolutionary Committee. The promotion of nationalism within Libyan society is exemplified through Suleiman’s observations of Ustath Rashid preceding his execution in which he was slapped “across the face” before being turned “towards the camera”. Hence, the Revolutionary Committee emphasizes the extent of their agency in addition to the humiliating consequences of betraying the nation which serves as a deterrence to any form of opposition to their regime. This point is further emphasized when Suleiman acknowledges Ustath Rashid’s sense of helplessness upon vomiting, noting that nobody “wiped it off”, brought him a “glass of water” or a “toothbrush and toothpaste”. This is symbolic of the Committee’s intended reaction of the audience towards the treatment of traitors to the nation where they are presented to be helpless and isolated from those around him. Following Ustath Rashid’s death and the subsequent celebrations of the crowd, Suleiman remarks that the crowd resembled “children” who were “satisfied” at a swing they had “just made”. This indicates the sense of duty within the crowd to their nation as they are subjected to the delusion that they are advocates of the nation’s quest for totalitarianism. This represents the extent of manipulation and authority of the Revolutionary Committee amongst the citizens of Libya. The author depicts Suleiman as a product of Libyan ideology through his adult narration in which he reflects upon his “shameful pleasure” in “submitting to authority”.  Being a child of Libya, Suleiman is exposed to the authority of the Libyan regime in which abiding to rules and doing what is “right” for the nation is enforced. This signifies the protagonist’s lack of desire for any form of independent thought, choosing instead to yield to authority. Matar depicts Suleiman’s enjoyment in abiding to authority when he prepares to betray Baba for Sharief’s sake in which he has troubles sleeping as a result of his anticipation of “running to Sharief”. Suleiman is enticed by the prospects of performing a duty for a perceived authoritative figure, only understanding the consequences of his actions after they had been committed. This signifies the extent of Suleiman’s nationalism in which he betrays the people he loves for the sake of helping his nation. Matar explores Suleiman’s constant submission when confronted by authority as a result of his nationalism towards Libya, subsequently inciting his betrayal of Baba.

In the Country of Men demonstrates that Suleiman’s acts of betrayal throughout the text are influenced by the adults within both his internal and external environment. Matar depicts the protagonist’s rising urge to grow up in order to support his mother through her declining mental state, resulting in his betrayal of Kareem. This signifies Suleiman’s inner conflicts, subsequently compelling the reader  to sympathise with Suleiman’s actions. Through Suleiman’s betrayal of Bahloul’s trust, the author demonstrates his increasing tendencies for violence despite Najwa’s attempts to shelter him from the reality of political oppression.  Thus, the reader is encouraged to empathise with Suleiman’s acts of violence throughout the text as a result of the influence of his environment of oppression. Furthermore, Matar explores the idea that it is human nature to conform to one’s environment through Suleiman’s constant submission upon confrontation with authority as a result of his nationalism towards Libya, leading to his betrayal of Baba. This positions the reader acquire a sense of compassion for the protagonist’s mistakes throughout the text as a result of the totalitarian nature of his environment. Through the depiction of the influence of the adults within Suleiman’s environment, Matar leaves the reader to consider if it is possible for a child to overcome the critical influence of the adults within their internal and external environment.

Thanks!