The Symbolic of Women in the Algerian Cultural Heritage as Represented in Malika Mokeddem’s L’ interdite (1993) and La nuit de la lezarde(1998)



This article investigates the symbolic of women in Algerian cultural heritage as represented by Algerian novelist Malika Mokeddem in her L’interdite (1993) and La nuit de la lézarde(1998). It aims to study the ways into which Mokeddem depicts her females not as victims but as rebels against the patriarchal cultural codes imposed by the Islamist upsurge of the ‘Black Decade’, that is Algeria of the 1990s. We will demonstrate that through reading and breaking the cultural fundamentalist code of marriage, Mokeddem’s female characters overcome their subjugation in the  conflicting political and cultural situation in Algeria of the 1990s. It will be shown that the novelist created her female characters as an allegory of her own defiance and denunciation not only of the ‘retrograde’ 1984 Algerian Family Code, but of the hegemonic fundamentalist rule as well.

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