Obsession In Two Literary Works Essay

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Obsession is one of the greatest obstacles for mankind to overcome. In Naguib Mahfouz’s Midaq Alley and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, the motif of obsession helps to both characterize and even foreshadow the fates of the characters. Both novels illustrate that obsessions with an object or person leads to demise, but the novels differ in how they portray the effects of these obsessions on humanity. Before continuing this analysis, obsession will be clearly defined. For the purpose of this essay, obsession will be characterized by three concepts: the character is shown constantly contemplating the desired object or person, most of a character’s actions or goals are oriented towards the object or person, and …show more content…
When confronted with the obstacle of religion, Hamida yells “‘I don’t give a damn [about violating the Qur’an]!’” (Midaq Alley, P146). This complete disregard for her promises to both Abbas and religious icons portrays Hamida’s obsession with acquiring money as she consistently contemplates money, orients all of her actions around gaining money, and as she destroys religious obstacles in order to attain money. Later, Hamida’s obsession with money leads her into prostitution, emotional turbulence, and misery as she undergoes a moral degradation in order to satiate her obsession. While Hamida is obsessed with financial success and the luxuries that it brings, her fiancé Abbas is obsessed with his love for Hamida. After the first time of being rejected by Hamida, Abbas refuses to leave her alone because he is “truly in love and [feels] certain his love for her would last a thousand years” (Midaq Alley, P44). Although Hamida rejects Abbas on numerous occasions, she is eventually convinced of his love as Abbas promises to work for the Army to gain enough money to give Hamida anything she desires. Once Abbas leaves for the army, Hamida looks to other men for financial stability instead of waiting for her fiancé to return. When Abbas finally returns, he begins to drink in order to escape his emotional pain. When Abbas notices the coquettish personality of Hamida as
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