Representations of the Western other in early Arabic novels (1900-1915)
This thesis studies the image of the West in a selection of Arab novels that were published between 1900 and 1915, when the Arab world was in the early stages of Western occupation. It is an attempt to form a clear picture of how Arab writers of that period viewed the West and its civilisation, by studying the novels' characters during that time. First attempts to write Arab novels were closely connected to the depiction of the 'Other', i. e.: the Westerner, using this image to express their hopes and pains. The novels were timid messages addressed to the West, in the hope that it would reconsider its relationship with the East. This thesis aims to shed light on the significant changes in Arab thought in the early 20th century and how Arab intellectuals came to view the West. These changes were preceded by a state of fascination with everything that came from the West; technological inventions, political and economic systems, and even social conditions. The writers were extremely concerned with women's rights, comparing the living conditions of Western women with the poor and backward conditions of Eastern women. It is hoped that this research will serve as a foundation for further research in this field, and that further studies can be carried out on the views expressed through these novels.