Gassim H. Dohal
Ph.D., Associate Prof. of English
A son killed his father due to emotional depression, mistreatment by his father, a series of offenses, and deprivation. This story depicts the abuse, oppression, and denial of rights that some children face from their close relatives. Through the story, the author gives us a chance to explore the inner voice of the hero through the omniscient narrator; dialogue is almost absent.
In addition to the father’s mistreatment, the society takes part in creating the protagonist’s dilemma, “All people say that he is crazy . . .” Traditionally, this society supports fathers and their rights over their children, but at the same time, it disregards the children’s rights. This denial has psychological consequences; oppression develops complexes in the personality of the oppressed. The main character of this story becomes the marginalized victim of both his father and society.
The story makes it clear that “he does not remember one time, even one time he was allowed to do something . . . they always consider him . . . marginal . . . nothing . . . nobody!” Being marginalized in his society means he is denied any rights as a human being. All this occurs to him for two reasons. First, “he missed his mother’s compassion too early . . .” This fact explains how in a culture that valorizes masculinity, men, including fathers, are known for being tough, strict, and uncompassionate. Accordingly, in this society women are responsible for upbringing, a mission that should be rendered by women. Second, he makes mistakes and always admits them for no reasons except those mistakes are discovered. This means that if he does not admit his undiscovered mistakes, he will be okay. Accordingly, values are not the society’s chief concern as much as appearances.
Key words: Khalil al-Fuzai, Saudi, Short Story, Many Hands.