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Half A Day

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by

Har Wiltz

on 31 October 2012

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Transcript of Half A Day

Half a Day
By Naguib Mahfouz Summary
Half a Day is a short story about a young child who doesn't want to go to school on his first day, he sees school as a punishment. He is really nervous when he leaves his father, but once he gets to school, he realizes that it's not that bad. He learns many life lessons, such as love and friendship. When his school day is over, he is anxious to meet his father back at home, and his grandson helps him there. Introduction
“Half a day” was originally written in Arabic by an Egyptian author named Naguib Mahfouz who became recognized after receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988. “Half a day” was published in 1989 as a part of a short story collection called “The False Dawn”. This story is a metaphor/allegory for the cycle of life as it represents the progression from childhood, to adolescence, to middle age and to old age in comparison to what the narrator experiences in just half a day. Allusions Naguib Mahfouz
The author was educated a long time ago and in a completely different culture which would explain the clothes he wears and also why he experienced so much religious references in school.
In the end of the book he talks about a street called Abu Khoda. This is an actual street in Cairo located near an elementary school, so I think the author was describing this part of the story using some of his own experiences.
Critics' Comments
“Mahfouz makes skilful use of language in this concise economic story” Dr. Brent PhD in American Culture from Uni. Of Michigan
“Naguib Mahfouz’s short story Half a Day captures the essence of each human being`s time on earth and the changes that we all encounter throughout our life...I enjoyed and would strongly approve reading the short story of Half a Day`` -Ashley Longstreth (wikispaces)
Theme
Life feels slow, but it actually goes by really fast. The main character says “The fire engine’s siren was shrieking at full pitch as it moved at a snail’s pace, and I said to myself, ‘Let the fire take pleasure in what it consumes’” (255). It seems to the main character that the fire engine is moving very slowly, but obviously, to the reader, a fire engine whose siren is squealing would be going very fast. Sub-Themes
Dependance on your parents Lack of appreciation, lack of eagerness to learn new things
Main Fiction Element: Symbols
House: Sense of security for the main character
Place where people are brought in and released from the world School: Represents life itself.
All lessons are learned in the school. Fire Truck:
Represents last moments of one's life. Other Fiction Elements
Character/Characterization Title
Irony
Setting
Full transcript