Date of Award

5-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

Languages, Philosophy and Speech Communication

First Advisor

Sarah Gordon

Abstract

This study seeks to establish the generational difference between Beur and Francophone literatures using Kiffe Kiffe Demain by Faïza Guène contrasted with Le Siècle des Sauterelles by Malika Mokeddem. The struggle underlying both narratives is the protagonists’ attempts to negotiate their own identities while being torn between two very differing cultures. Le Siècle des Sauterelles explores the role that the French colonization had on Algerians as individuals. The characters are Algerian nomads who cling to western ideals of literacy and personal choice and in so doing, reject Algerian social hierarchy. The characters in Kiffe Kiffe Demain are from two cultures: their parents’ culture, North African, and the culture of everyday life, French. The protagonist, therefore, must try to blend the two.

In this comparative study, I explore the underlying social and economic situation of Beurs and Francophone writers to find parallels within the novels, since most Francophone and Beur novels are autobiographical. I also analyze the writing and linguistic styles and language (such as borrow words and verlan) employed by the authors to support the larger themes of the novels. I contribute to our understanding of Francophone literature and add a new critical perspective to reading the changing generations in the two novels written by Beur and Maghreb authors.

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