Essay on Chraibi, Driss. Heirs to the Past

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Chraibi, Driss. Heirs to the Past

Reactions to Hearing Haj Ferdi’s Voice during the Reading of the Will

In Heirs to the Past, Haj Ferdi, or the Seigneur, was the central figure in his community. Not only the patriarch to his family, but is in a position where most of the people in the surrounding town look up to him not only as a role model, but also out of necessity for life.
“My mother emptied the food into a bowl and told one of my nephews to go and distribute it to the poor. He had not far to go; he had only to open the front door and there the poor were.” (Chraibi, 50) The poor depended upon the Seigneur for food and distant family members depended upon his charity to avoid becoming impoverished. “All were members of
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Many characters changed after hearing the will, including the Seigneur’s sons and wife. The feelings of the people who witnessed the reading of the will by the Seigneur were those of awe and admiration.

Nagib, one of Driss’ brothers has one of the most radical reactions to hearing the Seigneur’s voice and the reading of the will. Nagib is a very violent person who uses force rather than reason to attain his desired goal. “Nagib looked at him for a long moment as if he were a sewer rat. Then he let him drop. ‘Pay by the month, at the end of the month.’” (Chraibi, 56) Nagib is a very imposing person, but when even hearing the Seigneur’s voice, Nagib turns into a child seeking his father’s approval. “‘God bless you, Haj, and may your soul rest in peace. What should I have done without you?’ ‘Nothing,’ declared
Nagib.” (Chraibi, 70) Nagib shows his reverence for the Seigneur and shows how much love he has for the man. While the Seigneur is speaking, Nagib becomes relaxed and politely asks the solicitor to sit in his seat; Nagib attempts to do nothing that would make the Seigneur think less of him while in his presence, but he still acts aggressively when he feels that it would help his family. Upon the peaceful request of the Seigneur, Nagib harshly forces everyone out of the room where the reading of the will was taking place. “And Nagib calmly sat down and watched the tape
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