In the passage from the novel The Book of Saladin by Tariq Ali, the author talks about a particular moment in the life of the former Islamic leader Saladin. The piece is written in a first person narrative view and is told through the view of Saladin. The passage talks about Saladin’s youth and how he was at first considered rather insignificant, as he was not the eldest born son in his family hence not much was expected from him. The passage then goes on to talk about how only his paternal grandmother saw greatness in him and goes on to give a recollection of a moment in which he and his friends killed a snake where upon Saladin’s grandmother calls him and tells him about her dream. The passage contains several significant themes throughout such as the themes of power, conflict, and emotions which all contribute to portraying this particular moment in Saladin’s life.
Firstly, the subject of emotions is also somewhat evident throughout the passage. The protagonist has rather happy emotions throughout the passage. In the beginning of the passage, the protagonist talks about how he felt free during his younger days. “enjoyed much freedom” the verb choice enjoyed has very positive connotations. This verb emphasizes the happiness Saladin experienced when he was younger hence implies the fact that despite the fact that he was considered more insignificant than his brothers, he still felt happy. Additionally, the passage ends with another very positive note. “Undoubtedly had a positive effect on me” The significance of the word positive in this quotation is the first time in the passage in which Saladin actually believes that he has a chance in surpassing his brothers. This a large contrast to his feelings in the beginning of the passage where he feels that he is not significant (“I was lucky……For this reason not much was expected of me”). At the start of the passage, it is almost as if the protagonist were happy that he was not destined for power...
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