Essay on Zaabalawi Is Not A Man, But A Way Of Life
In the short story “Zaabalawi,” Naguib Mahfouz tells the story of a man, the narrator, with a terminal illness. He is convinced that he needs to find Sheikh Zaabalawi after he is told that this man is a miracle man and has healing powers. Throughout the story, the narrator goes on a long journey to seek out Zaabalawi, he meets several unique people who have experienced the wonders of Zaabalawi and many people who don’t know or don’t care for Zaabalawi. Finally at the end of the story the narrator comes in contact with Zaabalawi, but is too drunk and passes out before he can remember him. Throughout the short story, Mahfouz uses characters, events, and dreams as symbols for Zaabalawi. As the story goes on, more information is gained about this miracle man, Zaabalawi is a symbol used by the characters, many see him as a way of life, or found inner peace, or even a God. In the beginning of the story, the narrator states that he as an illness “until I became afflicted with that illness for with no one posseses a remedy” (111). This illness represents something missing in the narrator’s life, like he hasn’t found inner peace in his life yet. It’s the same as someone who doesn’t believe in a God and they realize somewhere in there life that something is missing, that they can’t make it alone. This symbol as an illness also is leading to Zaabalawi representing more than just a person, but rather a God or way of life. The narrator meets several people throughout the story and they all are symbols of the type of people in real life. In the beginning the narrator meets Sheikh Qamar. Qamar is a very wealthy lawyer who seems to have everything in the world he needs “his manner of sitting was that of someone well satisfied both with himself and with his worldly possessions” (112). When he finds out the narrator is just trying to learn about Zaabalawi he becomes discontent and almost disappointed that the narrator was not a...
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