The Lawsuit: Examining the Characters

1641 Words7 Pages
Casey Oram

4 March 2011

English 1020

Essay 1

The Lawsuit: Examining the Characters

The definition of a lawsuit is a civil action brought in court in which a plaintiff demands another person, known as the defendant, pay this person equitable resolve (dictionary.com). In other words they want payment for being wronged in the past. If the case is found to be legitimate and proven justifiable, the defendant pays the plaintiff the awarded compensation. This brings us to the story, The Lawsuit, by Naguib Mahfouz. This tale is about a son being sued by his father’s widow demanding maintenance be paid to her some twenty years after the father’s death. Several of the individuals in this story serve very little purpose.
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The police were called and the eldest son went to prison, where he died a year later.

One of the main round characters is the widow, the father’s new young bride. She was in her twenties, where as the father was in his fifties. She might even be portrayed as a gold-digger. Dictionary.com defines this as a woman who associates with or marries a many chiefly for material gain. This was definitely the case with this story. The widow was described as a ravishing beauty when in her twenties. The family sat and watched as the father purchased lavishing presents for his new wife. When the father died from a stroke, the family asked about the key to his cupboard, where the father hoarded his money. The widow claimed not to know anything about such a key or cupboard. The family finally found the key and opened it. They found a few notes and only five thousand pounds, which the widow inherited. They wondered what had happened to the fortune. As the mother had predicted, the young bride would leave them all “without a bean” (Mahfouz, 92). Now with no education and little money left, the widow went to live with her parents. The youngest son, who was the person being sued for maintenance, wondered if his father’s young bride’s youthfulness and beauty had “withstood the passage of time” (Mahfouz, 90)? At the time of the lawsuit, now in her forties, the widow was over-weight and over time had lost her sense of beauty. The lawyer stated
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