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“Half A Day” by Naguib Mahfouz

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“Half A Day” by Naguib Mahfouz is an allegoric short story about the different stages of life. He talks about the different stages of life through his first day at school and how they relate to your entire life. He makes the story very slow at the beginning but towards the end it kind of fast-forwards to him as an old man and it comes out of nowhere. He is leaving from schooling and he is by the road waiting for his father to come and walk him home but his father never shows up. He begins to walk home by himself and he cant find his way and the scenery changes and all of a sudden he is an elderly man getting helped across the street by a young man.

Every part in this story has a greater meaning than the previous part. The reader must understand this in order to understand the story. I had to read it four times in order for me to completely understand it. You have to understand Mahfouz’s symbolism and cannot think of it in a literal sense. He paints a very vivid picture with his words. Everything you read you can picture just as he pictures it because he does such an incredible job. Though there aren’t many characters they all play a big roll in the story and each are tied to many different meanings. His father holding his hand is god leading him through his life journey and giving him guidance. His mother looks over him from a distance and leaves the molding of her son to his father.

She loves him but it isn’t her job to teach him to becoming a man although I’m sure she would do a fine job. His teacher is the rule maker punishing anyone who does not abide by her rules. His classmates are all the people in which he has made significant encounters with and these people have had an impact on his life. Best friends, and ex girlfriends are a vivid part in this section in the story. Some of these classmates are not good encounters and show different opportunities that people are given in life, which contributes to the tough decisions being made in life on your way to becoming an adult. The young boy is the main character and it is his story we are reading about. It talks about him as a young boy all the way until he is an old man being helped across the street by a young boy. He is an old man before you even know it and you get confused at first because it really sneaks up on you. The old many continues the little boys journey when he is walking home from school and they are both just trying to find there way but they cant.

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