In the book Yemen chronicles: an anthropology of war and meditation by Steven Caton highlights the effects of poetry in a contemporary society and the how the same helps in encouraging communication between different people. There are various characters that play crucial roles in the development of the main themes. One character in the book is Sheikh, and he is presented as a person under great torture after his daughter is abducted. The abduction causes Sheikh great emotional distress thereby necessitating assistance from various quarters (Crawford and Steven, 380). The second character is Muhammad and he serves both as a collaborator and a translator thereby helping Caton to understand the foreign language. Muhammad works closely with Caton to help him understand foreign Arabic language to ensure that the book becomes a success. The third character in the book is the youth who abducts two girls in the village thereby leading to local and intertribal conflict which degenerates nationally. The other characters in the book are the two girls who are abducted by the youth causing the conflicts witnessed on the society. Additionally, there is Jon Mandaville, who is the Director of American Institute for Yemeni Studies and stands out as the person who introduces Caton to the new society. Sayyid Ali is another character who introduces Caton to Yemen and is the one who shows hi, where to live and the activities he is to do. The book also introduces Ahmed, Caton's upstairs neighbor, whim Caton meets when he settles in the same flat with him.
The various characters represent different things in the book, first, the Sheikh whose daughter is one of the two girls abducted whose daughter get abducted together with another girl. Sheikh represents the religious fraternity and tells of how the effect of religion in times of distress. Steven Caton meets him after his daughter has been abducted and reports to him for assistance of tracing his daughter. In this manner, Sheikh represents religious teachings and the importance of the same. Secondly, Muhammad tells represents a true friend and promotes the theme of hospitality in the population; this is evident in the manner in which he serves as a collaborator and a translator to Caton. Caton meets Muhammad once he gets into Yemen and experiences the challenge of understanding foreign Arabic language thereby requiring a translator. In this way, Muhammad represents section of the society that is welcoming to visitors and promote the theme of coexistence and hospitality. The youth who abducts the two girls is the third character in the book and he is the genesis of intertribal war. Such is because it is only after he abducts the two girls when war ensues, the young man shows the hidden enmity between tribes in the Yemeni society. Caton meets him after abducting two young girls which is followed by a thorough search. Other additional characters in the book are two girls who have been abducted and they represent the weak and minority in the society. Caton meets them after both have been abducted by the youth and rescued through the help of the whole community. There is also Jon Mandaville whom Caton meets after he lands to Yemen and helps him to settle down. Moreover, Sayyid Ali is the character who introduces Caton into Yemen and represents hospitable Yemenis. Finally, Ahmed, Catonts upstairs neighbor, represents unfriendly people in the society as it is evident in the manner in which he avoids Caton and does not take time to relate with Caton.
In the examination of the role of Sheikh in the society, it is prudent that he is a renowned religious leader in the society, and is therefore morally and ethically endowed to serve as an example to the public. The high ethics and morality that Sheikh upholds is evident in the way he addresses the case of abduction of his daughter and another girl in the society, the decisions that he makes conform to religious teachings. The second character in the book is Muhammad and his hospitality is evident in the way he is able to trust a stranger, Caton, to help him with translation work and collaborating with him in his different activities all across Yemen. Third, the youth who abducts the two girls shows high degree of evil in the society and by abducting the two girls, he proves that there is a high-profile enmity in the population. Additionally, two girls represent the minority and the weak in the society as they, two girls, can be abducted by one youth. In this manner, the two girls tell of the idea that the women are more susceptible to harm in the society. Jon Mandaville represents American civilization in the Yemeni society. Furthermore, Sayyid Ali is the character who is introduces Caton into the society and champions the theme of hospitality as he proves to be friendly when he meets Caton. Finally, Ahmed represents arrogance in the population as evident in the way he lack time to associate with his new neighbor, Caton.
Crawford, David, and Steven C. Caton. "Yemen Chronicle: An Anthropology of War and Mediation." (2012): 379-381.
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