The Passive Female Antihero: In Search of Truce

Proceedings of ‏The 3rd International Academic Conference on Research in Social Sciences

Year: 2021


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The Passive Female Antihero: In Search of Truce

Salma kaouthar letaief, Yousef Awad



This article aims at investigating the transformation of the Arab female contemporary protagonist into a passive antihero in Rabih Alameddine’s novel I, the Divine which is set during the Lebanonese civil war. The crafting of postmodern antihroism  in the context of war has become a medium to voice out the traumatic experiences of this individual around whom events of death, loss, destruction, and chaos are centered. The representation of the female antihero in postmodern Anglophone Arab war fiction is of paramount importance as it reclaims the past through depicting historical events. In this article, the evolution of protagonist namely Sarah in I, the Divine is thoroughly scrutinized in relation to traumatic events of war, and issues of patriarchy that she has experienced. The analysis of the antihero of this paper is approached by Feminist Therapy theory which is a feminist perspective of psychic trauma to associate traumatic outbursts of the female characters in relation to war and the patriarchal Arab world. Thus, interweaving politics, history and psychology, this article aims at bridging the gap between postmodern Anglophone Arab war literature and the concept of the antihero. It also draws attention to women living in a culture where there is a high base rate of sexual assault and where such behavior is considered normal and erotic by men.  Indeed, in this article, the traumatic experiences of the female character will be analyzed to examine the external factors that engendered her transformation into a passive antihero.

Keywords: antihero, Feminist Therapy theory, Lebanonese civil war, patriarchal Arab world, Postmodern antiheroism, trauma.