Midaq Alley

Societal Implications in Midaq Alley 11th Grade

In the novel Midaq Alley, author Naguib Mahfouz depicts a poorer middle eastern alley. This measly Alley doesn't act only as a physical barrier, but a societal one as well. Midaq Alley is shielded from the rest of the world, and has little outside influence. As a result, many of its inhabitants have become very set in Midaq Alley’s conditions and social traditions, and subsequently, have become very troubled. These traditions conflict with the very ambitious modern young adults growing in the Alley. However, as their Mahfouz tells their tragic stories, it seems as if the young characters can not overcome the Alley’s limits. The traditional society confines the youth which creates more broken people.

The conservative gender roles force Hamida to manipulate others to achieve her goals. Overall, her ultimate goal is to achieve wealth. Far from the normal girl her age, she did not look forward to getting married and having a life consisting of “sweeping, cooking, washing, and feeding children to look forward to, but instead was called the “ambitious girl” of the Alley (21). She dreamt of obtaining material things beyond her means, arguing, “What the point of living was if one can’t have new clothes?”, placing even luxury over the...

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