Fate of a Cockroach Analysis Essay

2016 Words9 Pages
Al-Hakim’s Fate of a Cockroach was first published in 1966. In my opinion, al-Hakim asserts that man has no control over his own fate as the central theme of his play. The belief that one can control his or her fate consequently leads to an obsession with attaining knowledge and power. Through his male characters, Al-Hakim intended to describe the nature of man as presumptuous, self-centered and obsessed with scientific pursuits. Alternatively, the women in his play closely epitomize the humbling phenomena of nature. Within the play, the Queen cockroach and Samia are characterized as ego effacing in events of their husband’s self-aggrandizement. Similarly, we are all confronted with our insignificance in the world when the powerful hand of…show more content…
Though seen as inferior to cockroaches, as stated by the Savant because they are solely concerned with acquiring food, the ants pose the greatest threat to the existence of the cockroach. When a cockroach slips onto it’s back, the ants immediately attack and carry it away to be stored for food. I find this to be ironic because even though the ants are seen as insignificant in the cockroaches’ world, they prove to be integral components in deciding the fate of the cockroach. After the Minister announces the death of his son, it is the Queen who asserts that a solution to the problem of the ants must be pursued and the King who says that no solution exists. Again the King’s significance is undermined as he cannot rise to this challenging occasion or “fulfill [his] official functions”(pg.8). As exemplified throughout the play by the cockroaches, an air of superiority keeps them from adapting the ways of the ‘inferior’ ants and, in turn, possibly finding a solution to their problem. In a moment of clarity, a suggestion is made by the Minister, “Armies. [The ants] attack us with huge armies. Now if were able to mobilize ourselves and assemble in great numbers we’d find it easy to attack them, to scatter and to crush them under our great feet.”(pg.9) Immediately the King applies his ‘authority’ and rebukes the Minister’s notion, cutting him down because it is a “stupid” idea; in the “long history” of
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