Friday, November 6, 2009

Leo Africanus Pt. 2

In this section of the book we see the rapid maturation of Hasan. In just a few short pages he is grabbed from the world of an innocent child and thrust into that of a mature adult. He deals with mourning and anguish in the death of his gradmother and the planning of his sisters arranged marriage to a bad man. He grows in the work force as he leaves for Timbuktu with his uncle and, upon his death, is thrown into the main role of the caravan as they carry a message for the prince. He is forced to forgo love and instead marries his cousin to honor his late uncle. This is just another example of the extreme differences between his culture and ours. I personally can not imagine that many people in our culture are attached enough to a relative that they would marry a cousin to please them after their death. I understand that people have their last wishes, and that many are carried out by their loved ones after they have passed on, but to marry one's cousin is a bit of a stretch of the imagination for me, especially because Hasan is in love with a slave girl he met along the caravan's path.

Again, as in last week's reading, I enjoy the contrast in cultures that we experience through Hasan's day to day life. I am very interested in the events that cause him to mature so rapidly and the great detail the author uses to make these events more real to the readers. These details cause one to pause slightly and ponder the mental image set before them, assess its differences and similarities with what they are accustomed to, and move on for more. My only question is, was Hasan's sister sent to the Lepers quarters because Hasan exposed her husband-to-be as a bad person? Was this man that influential that he could have an innocent girl thrown into a life of disease and shame simply because her brother disliked how he acts?

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed your post and your question got me thinking. I find it hard to believe that she was just taken for suspect to being a Leper. I think the Zarwali definitely had something to do with her being taken away because it seemed abrupt and planned especially when Hasan's father was not there. The Zarwali had no right to condemn Hasan's sister but it seems like something he would do because his plans to marry Hasan's sister were interrupted.