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Title: Treatment of theme and characterisation in the works of Yusuf Idris
Author: Prochazka, Theodore
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1972
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Yusuf Idris is a short story writer, novelist and playwright. On the whole, he uses each genre for different purposes. In his short stories he is the subjective writer concerned with a minute analysis of mental states and moods. In his novels he is the socially aware and politically committed writer, while In his plays he tackles social problems on an abstract level. While he has succeeded to a great extent as a short story writer and a playwright Yusuf Idris has failed as a novelist. His novels appear to be a string of short stories held together tenuously by a main theme or else they are overblown short stories. Yusuf Idris then is to be seen primarily as a short story writer and a playwright. In the short stories the author treats his characters as lonely Individuals who suffer by being isolated from other human beings, and the solution to their problem lies in a return to the fold of the corporate entity. Here Yusuf Idris contradicts herself, as it is precisely this corporate entity, supposedly ensuring the happiness of the individual which is the source of his unhappiness. The characters ere depicted as living either in the city or the country. For Yusuf Idris it is the latter that promises harmonious human relationships while the former is the source of unhappiness. By idealising the country the author distorts the quality of urban living when contrasting town life and city life. The characters are constantly faced with defeat, mainly through poverty. Sex occupies a central position in his writing and it is treated In terms of its influence on behaviour. Physical and mental suffering are treated in detail and the author's training as a medical man is readily apparent. The author's major contribution, however, lies in his analysis of the obsession, which underlies many of his short stories, and influences his technique of characterisation. His plays are diametrically opposed to the rest of his work. In them the psychological element is lacking and issues ore discussed on an abstract level. It is as if the short stories and the ploys had been written by two different men.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral