Double Colonisation of Palestine in Sahar Khalifeh’s Wild Thorns

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD, Arabic Literature, University of Tehran, Iran,

2 PhD student, Arabic literature, Beirut Arab University, Lebanon,


“Wild thorns” is a novel written by the Palestinian novelist Sahar Khalifeh; it focuses on the colonisation of Palestine from a feminist point of view. She considers the Israeli colonisation as a patriarchy. This paper aims at investigating two types of colonization that have been represented in the form of patriarchy in the novel. The investigation of the issue of Palestine from a feminist point of view and the relation between the tribal traditions and colonisation is among the notable aspects of the novel. The present paper has been conducted based on Jungian criticism, which views literature as a repository of “archetypes”. For this reason, the paper aims at decoding the archetype of patriarchy and patricide suggested by Freud in his book Totem and Taboo. According to this theory, the early humans lived in hordes in which the father spread his dominance over the children and women. In order to exercise his dominance, he castrated or exiled the children. Finally, the children united and killed their father. It was the beginning of changes in early human’s life. Patricide is represented in two layers of Wild Thorns. The first is seen at the level of Palestine-Israel relations in which Israel is like the father who tries to prevent Palestinians from farming on their soils (mother), and also castrates their children and banishes them to dominate over the land (mother). The second layer is seen in the patriarchy of the father in a Palestinian family and reunion of the children against him that leads to his death in a hospital.


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