Tayeb Salih | A Handful of Dates | An Analytical Study


Tayeb Salih | A Handful of Dates | An Analytical Study

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–Menonim Menonimus

Tayeb Salih | A Handful of Dates | An Analytical Study

Tayeb Salih | A Handful of Dates | An Analytical Study

Tayeb Salih | A Handful of Dates | An Analytical Study

‘A Handful of Dates’ is a Sudanese Arabic short story written by Tayeb Salih (1929-2009). Lust and insolvency is the main theme of the short story. The story is written in the first person. Through this story, the storyteller has shown how a person, whose hobby was to marry women one after another, became insolvent and wretched.

The author has narrated that in his childhood he used to follow his grandfather wherever he went. Once he went to a garden of dates that belonged to a person called Masood. On that day the ripe dates were being harvested. The author had eaten some dates from the piles. After harvesting the dates, all the sacks of dates were handed over to other people including the author’s grandfather. After receiving the dates the author’s grandfather said to Masood, “You’re still fifty pounds in debt to me.” Then all departed. The author felt pity for Masood. 

The author, his grandfather and Masood are the main characters of the story. The author is very sympathetic to Masood because of his insolvency. The author’s grandfather is a very simple but rightful and dutiful person. He is hopeful of purchasing the remaining land of Masood in the future. Masood is negligent to his duty but lustful to women for which he lost almost all the property inherited from his father.

In narrating the story the author has employed the Subjective Method and narrates his story in the first person.

The story, in Structure, is a good one but the story ends in the climax.

The dialogues used in the story are sparing and reliable which have contributed to the development of the story and succeeded in revealing the inner feelings, emotions and motives of the characters.

The Setting of the story is well and realistic. The author has given a sparing picture of the setting of the story.

The Philosophy of Life is also found in the story. The author has expressed his philosophy of life indirectly that excessive desire for women makes one negligent to one’s duty and thus ruins him.

The Language of the story is simple and easy to comprehend.

In maintaining the Qualities of a good short story as —unity of purpose, brevity, spontaneity, and universality the author has succeeded somehow.

All the elements of a good short story are present in it so it may be called a short story of the first grade. 0 0 0.


Read More: Izz al-din al-Madani Short Story ‘The Tale of the Lamp’-An Analytical Study

N. B. This article entitled ‘Tayeb Salih | A Handful of Dates | An Analytical Study’ originally belongs to the book ‘Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

Books of Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:

  1. World Short Story Criticism
  2. World Poetry Criticism
  3. World Drama Criticism
  4. World Novel Criticism
  5. World Essay Criticism
  6. Indian English Poetry Criticism
  7. Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
  8. Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  9. Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  10. Critical Essays on English Poetry
  11. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
  12. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
  13. Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period
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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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