2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

The Light and Dark Worlds: The Struggle Between Old and New in Midaq Alley
Kevin D. Cowling
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Naguib Mahfouz's novel Midaq Alley is about a struggle between the old world of Midaq Alley and the new world of modernization. Within the text of the story, Mahfouz uses his description of light to address this opposition, with darkness being used to describe the alley and its inhabitants, and light being used to signify the hope of things outside of the Alley. These modifiers, as well as references to God and the Devil, play a major role in creating a split between the old and the new in the eyes of the reader. Though there is a major split between the two, Mahfouz also shows that both the old world and the new world have their respective problems. His characters show a naivety towards these problems in their pursuit of satisfaction, and fail to realize that compromise is needed in order to receive the full benefits from each lifestyle.

Keywords: Mahfouz, Orientalism, opposition, light vs. dark, Midaq Alley, Egypt, colonialism

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 25-3
Location: OP 2121
Time: 10:15

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