Stifling Dust in the Air: Glimpses of Personhood of an Egyptian Anti-hero

Kandiah Shrikarunaakaran


This paper explores Naguib Mahfouz's novella The Thief and the Dogs in an effort to draw the silhouettes of personhood of Said Mahran, the protagonist. A revolutionary at the outset, Mahran cuts a sorry figure ultimately owing to his inflexibility and thinking far removed from common sense. In spite of the fact that his release from prison is liberating to him personally, he could not settle for a harmonious life. The rebel-turned-thief fails to see the socio-political realities around him, and finds it difficult to change ways. He could not come to terms with the realities around him because of his incapacity to adapt. The mistaken adjudication of events and people leave him frustrated and vengeful. Plot, in other words, action determines the character. This paper makes an attempt to formulate an idea of his personhood  through discussion of the protagonist’s actions.


personhood: revolution: inequality: resistance: vengeance

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