Naguib Mahfouz Writing Styles in Half a Day

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Allegory

An allegory is a story with events and characters not meant to be interpreted at a literal level but at a symbolic one. Menahem Milson, in his book Naguib Mahfouz: The Novelist-Philosopher of Cairo, maintains that in the work of Mahfouz, "allegory is an extremely important literary mode." "Half a Day" is an allegory for life and the human condition. The story is clearly not meant to be interpreted literally, since the use of time in the narrative is completely unrealistic. The narrator enters the schoolyard a young boy and leaves it "half a day" later, only to discover that the world outside has been completely transformed and he is now the age of a grandfather. The "half a day" spent in school is thus an allegory for the way in which an entire lifetime can seem to last only "half a day."

The school represents what one...

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This section contains 608 words
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Short Stories for Students
Half a Day from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.