Denial and Lack of Unconditional Hospitality

Authors

  • Arun Shrestha

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3126/litstud.v36i1.52075

Keywords:

Denial, Unconditional, Hospitality

Abstract

Denial and Lack of Unconditional Hospitality in Gibb’s Sweetness in the Belly The novel, Sweetness in the Belly, is a picture-perfect example of impossibility to hospitality to the refugees, namely, Lily, Amina, Yusuf, and Dr. Aziz by the people and state in Harar, and the major character Lily’s denial to hospitality in different places offered by different characters in the novel.Critics depict Camilla Gibbs Sweetness in the Belly as a catastrophic side effect of dictatorship, civil war, colonial impact, and poor living conditions in the 1980s and 1990s Ethiopia. The novel ends up in the psychopathic refugee status of the characters and the premature tragic death of the lover of the protagonist. The novel may present dictatorial effects, deprivation of human rights, and state dominance on its citizens resulting in refugee status, but in my reading, the novel is a strong exhibition of complete denial to hospitality by the states as well as the individuals segregating the humans from humans. The firsts and foremost identity of individuals as humans are denied. The state dominance using repressive state apparatus results in the loss of characters around the protagonist and the denial of hospitality, especially unconditional hospitality, as proposed by Jacques Derrida, makes the life chances of the characters of the novel vulnerable. I, therefore, argue that the novel is a picture-perfect example of impossibility to hospitality to the refugees, namely, Lily, Amina, Yusuf, and Dr. Aziz by the people and state in Harar, and the major character Lily’s denial to conditional hospitality in different places offered by different characters in the novel.

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Published

2023-02-04

How to Cite

Shrestha, A. (2023). Denial and Lack of Unconditional Hospitality. Literary Studies, 36(1), 156–167. https://doi.org/10.3126/litstud.v36i1.52075

Issue

Section

Creative Writing