Palace Walk: A Comparative Study

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The three books in The Cairo Trilogy – Palace Walk, Palace of Desire and Sugar Street – is the artful culmination of Nobel Prize Recipient Naguib Mahfouz; the main individual to have won the Prize for writing for work fundamentally in Arabic. The trilogy discusses many topics such as politics, religion, traditions, family structure, and personal desires and so on. In this paper, I am going to compare and contrast the three texts with respect to political-religion context.

Palace Walk is the principal novel of Nobel Prize Winner Naguib Mahfouz's Cairo Trilogy. Considered to be his perfect work of art, the trilogy takes after the lives of individuals from the preservationist al-Jawad family from the First World War to the Second. As Egypt battles towards autonomy, so to do the more youthful individuals from the al-Jawad family battle for more noteworthy personal freedom against mistreatment from custom and religion.

Palace Walk is the principal novel of Nobel Prize Winner Naguib Mahfouz's Cairo Trilogy, which is thought to be his artful culmination (each of the three books is names for real boulevards in Cairo). Mahfouz is the main essayist, composing transcendently in Arabic, to have won the Nobel Prize for writing. Other than those, the prevailing subject of Palace Walk was that the situation of the father in his home, in a profoundly religious and male-centric culture, is that of a God. Like a God, al-Sayyid Ahmad is a dictator of his family; his will is to be acknowledged not addressed, prevailed upon, comprehended, or conciliated. He is just to be obeyed and cherished. His irregularities and shameful acts are for sure confounding to the individuals who live under him, however, is immediately rejected and overlooked, with an thought that he is a decent individual, that they all advantage from his cooperative attitude and ought to be thankful. They take his abuse and call it adoration. (Mondal, Anshuman 1999)

His two-faced state of mind towards and abuse of, the ladies throughout his life is especially significant. A portion of the occasions that happen in this novel towards ladies is especially stunning. The acknowledgment of them by the characters is likewise significant; of the time, the way of life and of the revulsions that happen under a good religious framework that can be authorized yet never addressed or changed.

The comparison of al-Sayyid Ahmad with his child Yasin is a fascinating study. They are fundamentally the same as men in their mystery tastes, and their conduct towards ladies will abandon a few perusers nauseous. However, Yasin, in spite of the severe dislike one feels at his direct, is unmistakably a more thoughtful character than al-Sayyid Ahmad, to a limited extent since we know his past; his youth encounters and of experiencing childhood in that house, with that father, and in that time and culture. Partially too because we know his activities are instinctual and unconsidered. None of this reasons his conduct obviously; however the peruser can comprehend without fundamentally relating or excusing. Al-Sayyid, then again, is exceptionally viewed as and is very much aware of his deceptions. It is an issue, and Mahfouz's tries to clarify al-Sayyid Ahmad. However, he does not succeed. Better to abstain from supporting and abandon him as he may be; narrow-minded, beguiling, dictator, controlling.

The basic dissension is that the maltreatment of the al-Jawad family under al-Sayyid Ahmad is excessively disquieting, the characters excessively troublesome, making it unfeasible, making it impossible to relate as well, the setting excessively outsider. This is frustrating to hear. The setting can for sure appear to be stranger yet I think about whether they would say the same in regards to a precisely recorded fiction novel set in Europe. The West has propelled so rapidly it is as of now hard to recollect that it was quite recently that we lived in a profoundly male-centric, religiously abusive society (that still exists in some parts of the world). Be that as it may, we are not so far expelled as we may think nor are we ensured to remain so.

While the occasions in the novel are aggravating, particularly the treatment of ladies and how it is justified and rejected by the characters, the author makes no judgment. He is just making the characters and setting genuine and suggestive while creating his story leaving it on readers to judge. Any ethical judgment, regardless of whether an underwriting of the way of life and society or a study, is altogether for the peruser to choose. Truth be told, by accommodating us the inward considerations and sentiments of the characters, the author can give us a perspective that is neither stifled or in spite of the principles and restrictions they live by and detonates any recommendation that the novel is itself saved and moderate while keeping away from the allegation that he may harbor these perspectives himself.

Literature's most noteworthy accomplishment is to make compassion. Through understanding, we can go through time and space, survive another person's experience and value an alternate perspective. That is the reason it is baffling to hear individuals say they would not permit themselves the experience. That being stated, life is short and individuals read for a wide range of reasons. In the event that this novel couldn't persuade you to encounter a world distinctive to your own, at that point maybe it is sufficiently reasonable that you put this one down. Books that is authentic, fascinating, alarming, and provocative. Books that depict mistreatment and insubordination, accommodation and revolt, honesty and influence, false reverence and respectability, drive and control. Other than this, a portion of the composition is great.

The second in the set of three, Palace of Desire, proceeds with the tale around seven years after the zenith of occasions in the primary book Palace Walk. Individuals from the al-Jawad family are at various phases of their lives amid which they are looked with troublesome inquiries mirroring the progressive soul of that time.

Dissimilar to Palace Walk, in Palace of Desire, the impact of French and existential essayists Mahfouz is said to have been affected by is plain to see. A great part of the novel is of Kamal's interior ponderings as he doubts the importance of adoration, the motivation behind life, the purpose of customs & traditions and the presence of God. It is superbly suggestive, and there are numerous flawlessly composed entries. Where Western perusers may discover Palace Walk hard to identify with, the same can't be said for Palace of Desire with its emphasis on a youthful grown-up endeavoring to make sense of life.

Set generally in the vicinity of 1924 and 1927, Palace of Desire is likewise a less political novel than Palace Walk. In spite of the fact that, Kamal and his companions do have some exuberant political level-headed discussions and Kamal even comes to see his association with Aïda as closely resembling that of Egypt and the loyalists who battle for her. The establishment of a nation nearing to democracy and innovation attempting to relinquish its long-held conventions and gave religious following; where liquor utilization, tranquilize utilize and sexual issues happen yet in mystery; is clear all through and reflected in the narrative of progress inside the exceptionally customary al-Jawad family.

With sets of three, you anticipate that the principal book will be a nearly solitary story; as though even the writer is uncertain whether there will be cause to proceed. The second book frequently fundamentally closes transparently with unanswered inquiries in order to extension to the third book. Until the last section that is, the place occasions leave the peruser without conclusion. The way that the occasions of the last section happen somewhere in the range of eight months after the past part likewise make this consummation somewhat constrained.

The family's adventure ends in the last book, Sugar Street. The offspring of the al-Jawad family is altogether grown up and are themselves, guardians. World War II is coming, and their general surroundings are evolving. Truth be told, change is the repeating subject, concerning society as well as convictions and qualities. Kamal, Al-Sayyid Ahmad and Amina's most youthful child and the focal point of the past novel Palace of Desire, has made the best floor of his parent's home his condo. Having endured the torment of energetic lonely love and the flight of his refined companions, Kamal lives a consistent dreary presence. Presently a regarded teacher, Kamal discovers scholarly incitement in books instead of from companions. Darwin, Russell, Bergeson, Spinoza, Leibniz, and Schopenhauer are his companions now. Liberation originates from composing philosophical articles for a little magazine while he denies himself any open door for affection; easing his normal impulses as a consistent customer to a secret whore.

The style of the written work in this way changes through the set of three. Royal residence Walk is particularly about the domineering guideline of family patriarch Al-Sayyid Ahmad, the two sides of his character and Cairo. Mahfouz's limit summoning of the mistreated presence of his family is going up against to the peruser. Palace of Desire has less exchange, a slower plot and is centered on Kamal and his contemplative monologs. Effectively the most 'Westernized' character of the set of three, Kamal's existential issues as he battles with lonely love, loss of confidence and surrender of custom make him the most fascinating and relatable character, questionable the set of three's focal character. Despite the fact that this reflection proceeds into the third book Sugar Street, at this point the peruser is taken through the al-Jawad family and is most inspired by taking in their destiny.

The set of three is intensely political, at the same time, while that may keep you from picking up a full comprehension of the author's message, it ought not to reduce everything else there is to appreciate in these works – the mind-boggling characters, the extraordinary setting and the heartbreaking plot that follows.

As the nation changes quickly, every age of men in the al-Jawad family oppose the standards of the past age, picking elective jobs, ways of life, governmental issues, and traditions. Change does not want the ladies of the family, however, who keep on being denied training and business and fill in as meager more than household hirelings and property to be exchanged by marriage.

The knowledge of some other time and another culture is additionally a feature of the set of three and one brimming with shocks. In spite of the fact that we are following an exceptionally conventional, moderate and religious family, in a generally preservationist nation; the books lift the shroud on an underground Cairo of liquor utilization, tranquilize utilize, infidelity and prostitution. At no time do I detect the author making any judgment on the customs, convictions, or legislative issues of his characters or the decisions they make concerning marriage, sex or drinking. Such understandings are left for the peruser to make.

Mahfouz is as yet the main Arabic essayist to have won a Nobel Prize for Literature. Primarily for English perusers the Cairo Trilogy is considered to be his perfect work of art, is presumably the best chance to encounter his composition. Perusers will be diving into a world that may appear to be outlandish and outsider in the extraordinary, however, one that isn't as far expelled from our past as we may think and one we can benefit by encountering it through writing. Nevertheless, The Cairo Trilogy is an immortal, perfect work of art studying the complexities of human presence in an evolving world.


Mahfouz, Naguib. The Cairo Trilogy: Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street. Everyman's Library, 2016.

Mondal, Anshuman. "Naguib Mahfouz and his women: The Cairo trilogy."SOAS Literary Review 1 (1999).

December 12, 2023



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