Happy Man

Topics: Naguib Mahfouz, Cairo, Egypt Pages: 4 (1160 words) Published: March 6, 2013
“The Happy Man” by Naguib Mahfouz
Isaac Duchesne

* Author Background
* Plot Summary
* Literary Devices
* Narrative Elements
* Overall Message
* Questions
* Discussion

Author Background

Naguib Mahfouz started writing when he was seventeen years old and is now respected throughout Arabic writing. Such as novels “The Children of Gebelawi (1959), Small Talk on the Nile (1966), and Miramar (1967). He often uses allegory and symbolism in his stories to address concerns. Mahfouz won the Noble Prize for literature in 1988. (Born Cairo, Egypt 1911)

Plot Summary

“The Happy Man” is a about a man who wakes up one morning and finds himself “inconceivably happy”. He has no idea why or how this happened and is shocked because of how he usually feels when he wakes up in the mornings. “This was distinctly peculiar when compared with the state he was usually in when he woke up” (pg. 235) He finds himself talking to people he generally never talks to such as his servant “Uncle” Bashir. He then finds himself talking to his worst rival who he has constant conflicts with. He addresses and talks to him though as if they were best friends. “Good Morning! He said without feeling any compunction.” (pg.237) His rival is shocked by how much different the man has changed and asks if his son has returned from Canada. “I bet your dear son has changed his mind about staying in Canada?! He asked…But that was the principle reason for being so sad.” (pg.237) We then learn that his wife had passed and the thought of her makes him laugh. This leads the reader to believe that the happy man was grieving for the loss of his wife and son and has stated to lose his mind causing him to be happy. He then attends to different doctors and specialists, all of who tell him that he is in perfect health. The last doctor, who is a psychiatrist who tells him that he has patients like him and that he...
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