In The Country Of Men Essay

949 words - 4 pages

"In the Country of Men"
Suleiman is a boy poised to enter “the country of men”. Discuss.

In the Novel In the Country of Men, Hisham Matar, explores and shares his childhood experience in the 1970's during the revolution in Libya. The time when men overpowered and completely dominated women. The title itself describes Libya as a country that belongs to men where women are constantly objectified. We see Suleiman wanting to become a man as soon as possible throughout the Novel and will take shortcuts to get there. However, he may not be as self-assured as he wishes; there are many instances throughout the novel that suggest this. On the other hand, the story also talks about a female being ...view middle of the document...

Suleiman believes that Adnan’s disease makes him seem older and more independent like a man. Thus Suleiman wants to have Adnan’s illness so that he too, could be like a man. "I couldn’t wait to be a man". Suleiman’s words prove how he wants to become a man and does not want to fall into kid’s category.

However, there are various occurrences given throughout the Novel that display Suleiman’s failure in becoming a Man. The visiting of the Revolutionary committee men to Suleiman’s house is a clear indicator of this; “I was wet beneath my clothes and realized what I had done. The pee felt warm and cold and sticky to my skin”. When the RCC man had asked him about his father, Suleiman becomes afraid and wets himself; not being able to control the situation and most importantly lacking courage. The apparent “man of the house” didn’t even have control over himself let alone the committee men. When Najwa becomes ‘ill’ she tells Suleiman about how Faraj, who she belonged to, and all other men had a duty to puncture their wife’s veil and cause her to bleed to prove that she was a virgin. “I didn’t know what Mama meant, but feared that when the time came I might not have what it takes to ‘puncture’ a women”. Suleiman fears he might not be able to do the duty that every man is to do to prove his wife a virgin. Even though there are some responsibilities of a man that Suleiman has fulfilled, he still doubts if he will be able to be a real man just like his father is.

Suleiman is constantly longing for that acceptance and respect that a Man possesses. Hisham Matar has a certain...

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