Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Proceedings of KUST, Iraq Conference 2022                     Pp.126-137

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From an Old Problem to a New Solution: Identity and Ideology in The Egg and the
by Clarice Lispector

 Arsalan Afrasyaw Fatah
Near East University, Cyprus

Karzan Aziz Mahmood
Komar University of Science and Technology, Iraq
  Jaume I University, Spain
Corresponding author:


Received:  1/23/2022                 Accepted:4/18/2022                     Published: 7/1/2022


This paper analyzes the short story The Egg and the Chicken by Clarice Lispector by examining the issues of identity, ideology and gender. The selected text is one of the outstanding works by this increasingly well-regarded Brazilian author and reappraises the age-old question of which came first: the chicken or the egg. The short story is explicitly concerned with its own dialectical language and the attempt to open up new philosophical perspectives on the long-standing boundaries of this issue through a discussion of the concept of origins and its deconstruction. The formal language employed in the short story seems somewhat contradictory in its effect, primarily due to its syntactic and stylistic simplicity and clarity via short, informative sentences and simple tenses to break down the given mental images. However, the story is notable for obscuring the content, invoking semantic and philosophical engagement by utilizing paradoxical and dialectical expressions. The chicken-egg paradox is both a quotidian metaphor and a multi-dimensional problem that exists on numerous levels. This paper, therefore, examines the language of the short story and seeks to find the answer/s to the dilemma. Unlike the general conception of the problem as an eternal issue or chicken-precedence, this research concludes that Lispector’s work re-addresses and problematizes this age-old question by unfolding several other potential problems or challenges within the paradox by placing a particular focus on the aspects of identity, ideology and gender.
Keywords: Clarice Lispector, gender, identity, ideology, The Egg and the Chicken

Cite as: Fatah, A. A., &  Mahmood, K. A.  (2022). From an Old Problem to a New Solution: Identity and Ideology in The Egg and the Chicken by Clarice Lispector Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Proceedings of  KUST, Iraq Conference 2022  (1) 126-137.


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Received: 1/23/2022 
Accepted: 4/18/2022
Published: 7/1/2022  

Arsalan Afrasyaw Fatah is an Iraqi citizen living in Sulaymaniyah – Iraq. He completed his BA in English language and literature from the University of Human Development in Iraq and is currently an MA student in English language and literature at Near East University in Cyprus.

Karzan Aziz Mahmood obtained BA in English literature and language from Sulaimani University (2011 – Iraq), MA in English literature from Swansea University (2014 – the UK), and is currently a Ph.D. student of literature and translation from Jaume I University (2019 – Spain). He has been teaching English literature and translation at Komar University of Science and Technology since 2016. Also, he is the director of the Centre of Intensive English Program at Komar University. His research interests include Romantic Sublime, Intertextuality, Appropriation, Literary Theory and Criticism, Marxism, and Postmodern Studies.