Determinism and Gender in Galsworthy’s The Man of Property and Naguib Mahfouz’s Palace Walk A Naturalistic Approach

Abdulfattah Omar

Abstract


This article is concerned with analysing the concepts of determinism and gender in John Galsworthy’s The Man of Property and Naguib Mahfouz’s Palace Walk from a naturalistic point of view. Determinism is one of the important characteristics of literary naturalism developed by Emile Zola, an eminent French writer, in the second half of the nineteenth century. Analysis indicates that pessimistic determinism, a typical feature of literary naturalism, is represented in the two texts along with other naturalistic features such as conflict, frankness about sexual problems, and objectivity. Analysis also shows that both John Galsworthy and Naguib Mahfouz gave much space in the two novels for women and their problems. Both adopted a naturalist deterministic view of the concept of gender. They used naturalist settings and practices as vehicles for symbolic meanings to convey thematic significance. The notions of determinism and free will as well as the related concepts of fate and nature are central questions in the two texts. The two authors also extend the notion of determinism to gender problems. In the two novels, we see that women are determined to suffer and submit to male dominance and tyranny. Although it is difficult to determine whether the two authors were progressive in adopting an explicit anti-patriarch stance, it can be claimed that Galsworthy and Mahfouz were concerned with introducing the social problems of the age including women problems in an objective way.

 


Keywords


Determinism- gender- naturalism- Emile Zola- feminist naturalism

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.5n.6p.76

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