Compare the effects of the use of different narrative voice in “Miramar” and “Devil on the Cross”.
In both Ngugi’s “Devil on the Cross” and Naguib’s “Miramar” we see a distinctive use of polyphony to convey both the political stances and social viewpoints of the authors. Although, the use of this literary technique differs between the two novels, the authors both have the same intention of persuading the reader to agree with their personal stand-point. Ngugi’s use of this literary narrative technique consists of describing the argument that he is attempting to put across to the reader, from the perspective of all of the characters to portray it in a light that leaves no room for reasonable doubt, where upon in “Miramar” Naguib manipulation of the narrative is more subtle at commenting upon the social class divides and barriers in the Egyptian society of the era in which it was written.
To consider now, how this use of polyphony affects the readers of “Miramar” the aim of Naguib must first be questioned. Upon interpretation the character Zohra can be seen as a crucial part of the novel despite not having a section to narrate her side of the story. The reason for this could be that Naguib wanted to use Zohra as a symbol for his notion of an ideal, modern Egyptian. Being a religious Egyptian himself, there are evident influences of his native culture, in the representation of this ideal Egyptian, Zohra. However, this concept of Zohra being a semiotic for Egypt is not the only point to consider whilst interpreting the narrative structure’s impact; rather, it is the interaction between Zohra and the different narrators in the novel, that is crucial to analyse . This is especially important, as the different narrators are all from different backgrounds and can be clearly discerned as representations of the different Egyptian social classes. The intention of Naguib could most definitely be, to help the reader understand the varying lives of people from the...
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