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Mother Comes of Age

A Mother’s Transformation From Innocence to Knowledge Driss Chraibi’s Mother Comes of Age is an exceptional novel about an Arab woman seeking knowledge of the world. Despite the main character’s age, the novel can be described as a bildungsrowan because of her personal growth. This woman develops and matures from a secluded, uneducated woman to an informed activist, proving she is capable of anything.The novel begins with the mother ignorant to modern society. Junior emphasizes this. “No one had ever taught her anything. She was an orphan at six months”(23). “At the age of thirteen, she was married off to a man rolling in money and in morality whom she had never seen. He would have been the age of her father. He was my father”(24). She has been isolated in her home since she was married twenty-two years ago. Her husband went off to work and her sons went off to school. The mother stayed in the home and took care of her family and her house. She rejected any French influence in her home. Her sons were punished for speaking the language. She was content in her innocence.As the boys grew older, they wanted to share their experiences with their mother. They told her stories to help her understand matters too difficult for her to comprehend. When electricity was installed in their home the brothers explained that the magic of a genie allowed for the lights, radio, and telephone to work. Their mother readily accepted their explanations. “’Aha,’ mother said, suddenly feeling relieved and happy. ‘Like the fakirs and the snake charmers?’”(31) Their mother was not a fool she was just ignorant to such things. At her sons’ urging the mother ventured outside for the first time since she was thirteen. She is amazed and overwhelmed by the beautiful outdoors. These experiences influence the mother and her sons to question her imprisonment.The mothe...

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