Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Literature No. 4 October, 2016                       Pp. 152-161

Abstract PDF

Full Paper PDF

 The Mirage Epic:  Sadalla Wannous’s Allegory of Colonial Globalization

 

  Samar Zahrawi
Department of Foreign Languages
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas
United States

 

Abstract:
Sadallah Wannous (1941-1997), the leading Syrian dramatist, who spent most of his production years exhorting the masses to uphold the values of freedom and democracy, warns, in his late plays, of the perils of global capitalism. In his allegorical play, The Mirage Epic (1995)he comments on the modernization of Arabic societies through the interaction of a small village with a wave of economic investment. As Abboud Al-Ghawi, a Faustian figure, transforms the village into a huge tourist and commercial establishment, the village is swarmed with commodities, and people gradually become opportunistic. The play presents a panoply of characters symbolizing a mosaic of stereotypes in an unnamed Arabic society: the romantic poet, the compromising cleric, the unyielding idealist, the peasant who loses his land, and the women who are fascinated with the sparkle of possessions. The introduction of free market capitalism changes the indigenous culture. The depiction of people’s humanity and capacity to love is mainly informed by pre-wealth and post-wealth conditions.  As the agrarian system is uprooted and people are converted to a life of commercialism, they are irretrievably caught up in the vicious circle of financial need and moral depravity. The byproducts of modernity–materialism and consumerism–are presented as facets of globalization which, in turn, is dramatized as a new form of colonialism that deeply affects people and controls them.
Key words: globalism, modernity, postcolonial drama , Syrian drama, Wannous

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on tumblr
Tumblr
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Share on stumbleupon
StumbleUpon
Share on digg
Digg
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on tumblr
Share on digg
Share on email
Share on reddit
Share on stumbleupon
Share on vk

Samar Zahrawi is Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Sam Houston State
University, College of Humanities and Social Science, Department of Foreign Languages. She is
teaching a minor in Middle Eastern studies. Her research interests are modern drama,
comparative drama and Syria drama.