2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

Hamida as Allegory in Naguib Mahfouz's Midaq Alley
Megan E. Bryde
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Midaq Alley, set in the 1940s, depicts the insular lives of the impoverished underclass in a slum neighborhood of Cairo. Some of the young characters, like Hamida, desire to escape the alley seeking better lives. We can see Hamida as an allegory for "the struggle for power and hegemony among the classes" (Al-hossini). This essay suggests that the strongest forces that control Hamida's decisions are society's traditionally held views for women and the lack of opportunities for them to climb the social ladder. Through a Marxist and Feminist lens, this paper will explore the ways in which this realist novel portrays and judges Hamida's life as a prostitute.

Keywords: Naguib Mahfouz, Midaq Alley, Realism, Hamida, Cairo, Feminism, Marxism, Gender

Middle Eastern Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 201-2
Location: MG 1000
Time: 11:15

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