Analysis of the Persian Carpet

Topics: Irony, Fiction, First-person narrative Pages: 3 (760 words) Published: May 12, 2013
Analysis of “The Persian Carpet” theme of selfishness and betrayal

From Zachary Bleau-Prevost

International Literature
Instructor: E. Koper

Champlain College
Monday, 18 February 2013
Since beginning of times, humans need to make choices on a daily basis. Sometimes it goes for the best, however, it goes also for the worst. In the short story “The Persian Carpet”, the author Hanan al-Shaykh suggests that by making selfish choices, one’s relationship with important people in its life can be seriously damaged. In the short story, the narrator, which is the protagonist, suffers from self doubt as she gains a new perspective on her mother, the antagonist, as she finds out the latter has been lying to her for several months about the disappearance of their old “Persian Carpet”, which is the reason for her parents divorce. The author conveys the theme of selfishness and betrayal through her use of characterization and symbols.

First, through characterization, the author follows the young girl, which struggles to understand her mother selfishness. Before meeting her mom, the protagonist explains she will be “unable to throw [herself] into her arms” (228). However, even though she imagines it, the opposite situation happens and she actually finds herself “unable to wait and rushe[s] forward” (228) to see her mother. Additionally, through this first person narrative point of view, the reader even acknowledges her distinct feelings. However, these contradicting emotions of love and withdrawal, as an ironic reversal, left her perplex and confusion is conveyed over this situation. Also, the young girls describes the moment her “father agreed to divorce” (228) her mother, which had at this particular moment, a distinctive smile covering her face. Through this discovery, the reader learns about the conflict the narrator is living, and also the emotions her mother experiences at this moment. The smile on the mother face implies that she is somewhat happy with the...
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