Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

New Article: ‘The Wall’ reviewed

Electronic Intifada, 14th June 2013

The Wall also features the usual personal angst of teen novels. But again, they suggest bigger issues. Despite the aggressively masculine ideologies of the settlement — epitomized by boys who long for their conscription papers and bully their classmates in the meantime — Joshua has remained boyish and weedy. It is physical labor on the land — helping out Leila’s family, with whom he has developed ultimately dangerous relationships of debt and loyalty — which brings him “real” manhood, building muscles and calloused “man’s hands” but also a sense of duty and responsibility.
Sutcliffe’s portrayal of Joshua’s environment is also highly suggestive. The settlement is described as new — “like it’s just been unwrapped from cellophane” — and in terms which repeatedly imply artificiality and a sharp misfit with its surroundings. It is explicitly not “normal.”

The full article is here.

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