This thesis looks at how the Other is constructed in Western short fiction. Western writers have represented the Orient through the ages, calling on images disseminated by Orientalism. Such representations result in deconstructing the humanity of the Other and denying them a voice, as Edward Said has shown in his works. Focusing on one particular location, North Africa, the thesis examines how two modern Western writers viewed and represented the natives and the Maghreb (Algeria and Morocco). I chose two creative writers who had a first-hand experience with the Other through decades of living in North Africa—the Algerian French Albert Camus and the American expatriate Paul Bowles who situated most of their work in North Africa. In analyzing the themes of their short fiction along with close reading of “La femme adultère” of Camus and “Allal” of Bowles, the thesis concludes that despite their affinity to the place--having either been brought up in it as in the case of Camus or chose to reside in it as in the case of Bowles—they represented the natives negatively. While Camus had the protagonist desire and even merge with the Algerian desert, the Algerian characters themselves were presented as inarticulate and marginal. The ultimate mystical union of the protagonist with the desert indicates the colons’ desire to merge with the land but not with its people. Bowles, on the other hand, does represent the Other, but dehumanizes the protagonist by depicting his beastly violence making him act like a reptile. Trapped in the Orientalist framework, Camus’s Other remains a shadowy character; for Bowles the Other is depicted in animalistic metaphors.


English & Comparative Literature Department

Degree Name

MA in English & Comparative Literature

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2015

First Advisor

Ghazoul, Ferial

Committee Member 1

Melaney, William

Committee Member 2

Nimis, Stephen


52 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Said, Edward W.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Camus, Albert, 1913-1960.


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


There would be no enough words to thank Dr. Ferial Ghazoul for teaching me so many things, commitment, integrity, dedication and persistence. Without Dr. Ghazoul's effort this thesis would not have been written properly. Her valuable remarks added more depth into my topic. Her dedication to her students left me with much more love and respect for her. I would like to thank Dr. William Melaney for being patient with me for so many years, and for helping me with his knowledge and expertise. His priceless advice paved my path through my comps exam and thesis. I would like to thank Dr. Stephen Nimis for coming at the right time and helping me rephrase and rearrange my thoughts to have the thesis more organized.