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Alex Mantekas
Professor Simon
English 103
22 November 2013
Relating Adrift on the Nile to Egyptian Culture
Naguib Mahfouz writes a very adventurous novel, taking place in the 1960’s in a houseboat on the Nile River. Adrift on the Nile is a novel full of sexual banters, and late nights partying in the houseboat, which surprisingly leads to many internal and external conflicts. Mahfouz, himself, was born in Cairo, where the Nile River is located centrally (“Naguib Mahfouz”). However, does Mahfouz being born in Cairo have an effect on the novel? Naguib demonstrates a harsh view on the modern Egyptian society, and he displays many connections in his writing to the modern society. He displays it through the actions and words of the drug-dazed characters’ actions, or showing off Egyptian culture through his detail. According to The American University in Cairo Press, he tends to point out hypocrisy of what people think is “normal”. The goal of Naguib Mahfouz as an author was to display Egyptian social issues and history throughout his books (“Naguib Mahfouz”).

Adrift on the Nile is a book about a civil servant named Anis Zaki, who really has no direction in his life. Zaki is very fed up by the hypocritical ways of the Egyptian society that he lives in. The novel takes place during the Gamal Abdel Nasser era in Egypt. This era took place right after the Egyptian Revolution in 1952 (Tremphor 111). This era in the Egyptian time period can be looked at very differently among people. This time period seemed to flourish with producing stars of theater, film, poetry, television, radio, literature, fine arts, comedy, poetry, and music (“Nasser Era”). Which is a very big connection between the Egyptian culture of that time and the main characters of the book. The main characters that are on the houseboat include a lawyer, a translator, an art critic, an actor, a writer of short stories, and a journalist. Only two of these people do not have a job that is...
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