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Dave Eggers's Zeitoun A Monomyth?
Pages 5 (1255 words)
Dave Egger’s novel Zeitoun is a non-fictional account of the trials and tribulations of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, an Islamic, Syrian-American owner of a painting-contracting company who survived the Hurricane Katrina without leaving his home in New Orleans…
Despite his several acts of humanity in the face of a disaster, Zeitoun is arrested and made to undergo humiliating treatment at the hands of the National Guards and some local policemen. Egger uses a sparse but poignant voice to bring out the horrors of a natural disaster of this magnitude through the eyes of an ordinary man and his family.
In Joseph Campbell’s classification of a Monomyth, Campbell describes the trajectory of the Hero as a movement in three stages. The first involves separation of the Hero from his community. In the case of Zeitoun, this occurs when Kathy and the children decide to heed the warnings about the upcoming storm and leave for her childhood home. Zeitoun decides to stay on to look after his business and property. He ignores all anxiety about the storm from his wife, his brother and is even described as being extremely stubborn:
Kathy often poked fun at Zeitoun’s stubbornness, at his unwillingness to bow before any force, natural or otherwise (Eggers 25). ...
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