Language as a Way of Communication: French vs. Arabic Language Essay

2694 Words11 Pages
Language as a Way of Communication: French vs. Arabic Language Omnia El Sakran English 215: Contemporary World Literature Professor Maya Kesrouany January 9, 2012 French vs. Arabic Language Assia Djebar originally wrote her most known novel Fantasia (1972) (original novel published in 1972 and the translation in 1987) in French after thirteen years of not writing anything at all. Blairs (1989) says in the introduction to the novel, “however, during the ensuing twelve years of silence, she tried to tackle the problems of the passage from writing in French to writing in Arabic”. The novel is in a first person narrative which gives the novel an autobiographical tone. In Fantasia, Djebar discusses the history of Algeria by relating it to a story of a young girl who lives with her father. The narrator narrates her story from the childhood till she becomes a mother holding her children. In the novel, and in the final part, the narrator interviews and gives voice to the women who witnessed the French War and helps them to express themselves in this descriptive piece of writing. Throughout Fantasia (1987), the narrator is confused between using the French language which allows her to express herself freely, and the Arabic language which reveals the truth; however, she ends up writing in French to address her story to colonizers as well. In the novel, the narrator differentiates between the French language and the Arabic language through her descriptions of both. She writes in the language of the colonizers while she describes it as her husband. She says, “I cohabit with the French language: I may quarrel with it, I may have bursts of affection, I may subside into sudden or angry silence- these are the normal occurrences in the life of any couple” (p. 213). The narrator and the French language live as a couple. She may have some difficulties while using it

More about Language as a Way of Communication: French vs. Arabic Language Essay

Open Document