Paper Example. Men in the Sun

Published: 2023-03-15
Paper Example. Men in the Sun
Type of paper:  Book review
Categories:  Immigration Character analysis Social issue Books
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1871 words
16 min read

Ghassan Kanafani's Men in the Sun is a very emotional read that focuses on displacements since the lives of the characters revolve around the problems encountered by the refugees in their quests for better lives. The past experiences of the characters are very influential in their thoughts and actions as their delineation, and the identification of their past future and nextness underscores the stories' specific moment concerning the diverse characters. That can be seen in the realm where the character Abu Qais considers that the Shat is a hindrance for him from getting Kuwait (Kafani 1972:25). Such an analog is the past, future preamble, following the facilitation and analysis of t thoughts of Abu Qais and his life with the past and future. Such instance is exemplified in the views of Assad's thoughts and feelings of the future and history when he visits the office of the proprietor in his quest of leaving Kuwait. That is a clear indication that, just like Abu Qais, Assad is also determined to leave the past in pursuance of a better future. The story, therefore, is a representation of the struggles and the desires of men (the Middle East refugees), embodied with conflicts in pursuance of better futures through their relocations that Kanafani depicts as 'nextness' and 'pastness'.

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Plot Summary

The trauma encompassed in the life of A refuge is explained in this novel through the three characters from diverse generations who are brought together by a common goal of escaping poverty and oppression in their countries and seeking opportunities and work at Kuwait...The beginning of the story depicts three Palestine refugees, Abu Quis, Assad and Marwan who illegally attempt crossing the Iraq -Kuwait border to seek employment in the state go Gulf. Thy attempt crossing the border, trying to travel in refugee camps in Iraq where they are unable to find, yet according to them, they had envisioned that they would find work as labors in the oil boom. It is from then that they form an arrangement by the clerk to be smuggled to Kuwait by the driver, a process where they are humiliated ad treated with fluffy. The existential exile trauma is exasperated by the smuggling journey that they took in a water container belly. The novel depicts the characters wrestle towards the coat of the trip, coupled with their safety and their resentment of their profiteering struggles, albeit they later succumb to their efforts.

Al Quis's motive to seek work was driven from his need to support his wife, son and newborn. Marwan, the youngest of the three was inspired by the need to support his mother and siblings and proof to his father of his abilities to support himself and his family better than him (his father). Assad, who is depicted as a loner and robust is a representation of the middle generation who had worse life and had made several attempts to escape hardships from his past and homeland, albeit all efforts become futile. That is depicted in his failed transportation to Kuwait, where he is left in the middle of nowhere to cook under the blistering sun of the desert. The three characters had been connected by Abu Khiazuran, a smuggler who had convinced them that he would successfully transport them to Kuwait at accost friendly price. However, Kuwait's trip is revising and emotional which sees the characters bond with the least time why had


The Palestine characters in Men of the Sun had initially been affected by the push factors riven by the high growing population of the Jewish that took job opportunities and political leadership away from the Palestinians. That subsequently, pushed Palestine away from their countries, forcing them to seek job opportunities elsewhere away from their homes, to survive the shouldering climate. The characters, following the need to support their families, themselves and future generations, are forced to leave their country and illegally travel to another state where they are pulled by the factors of better opportunities and new life. They believe that Kuwait would offer better survival opportunities for them. Abu Quis, the eldest of the three, is married and has a son and his wife has just given birth to their second child, hence presenting a harsh environment for survival. He, therefore, seeks better opportunities to provide him with money to support his family.

Assad, who needs to support himself portrays the desperateness of Palestine as he cannot stand to survive in his homeland where he is locked down. He, therefore, seeks survival opportunities in Kuwait and to support his family. He feels that in Kuwait, he would receive acceptance and work opportunities and unlike his country, he would not be looked down upon as inferior and worthless. He had encountered several failures by men who had promised t successfully transport him to Kuwait, but he was luckily picked by an Arab couple whom he had met while traveling on the road. He had stumbled upon the couple after spending seven hours in the desert, and this time, he was more careful about his choice of who to pay to smuggle him.

Marwan, the youngest of them all s driven by the zeal to support his mother and siblings following his parents' divorce after the father left when he had money and stopped supporting the family. He was also aspired by his older brother Zakaria who had left for Kuwait and had since endorsed the family since the departure of their father. He feels that once his elder brother Zachariah gets married, he would not be able to support the family; hence, he now has to find courage as the head of the family. The proof gears his struggles to his mother that he can support the family and to his father that he can do a better job than him in feeding his family.

The Struggles of the Men in the Sun

The three-man desperately seek dreams through the long rod, as they were smuggled by their driver Abdul Khiazuran who tries to do his job to the best of his ability. Abdu's struggles are seen when driving the lorry to Kuwait and the homeland of the three men for his bosses. He has to do this in service to his country and the men of his country. He, therefore, struggles to give the three men the opportunities they need in Kuwait, and he is the only one guaranteed to make it to Kuwait alive, else they would end up dead in the hands of another smuggler. He even sacrifices to smuggle the men to Kuwait first before receiving payment and would only ask for a refund of the men's safe arrival to Kuwait. That is a clear indication of Khizarun's faith towards his job of delivering the men and the trust of the three men. The confidence among the four men becomes mutual as they all travel the desert in the search for manhood and life. Abdul initially had struggled being captured and stripped of his strength by the enemy while fighting for his country. That is depicted in his answer to the question of why he was never married. He, therefore, hopes that by helping his fellow Palestine's escape the harsh conditions of their homes and seeking opportunities, he is proving his manhood as a lost cause. Also, giving the men a new seen of masculinity to substitute the gratification for his dignity that is forever lost.

The men, during their travel to Kuwait to seek opportunities, face the struggles of bumps in the road, coupled with the blazing sun that beats down on them causing them pain as the sun acts as a turbo booster implanted on them, yet they have to survive. For them to successfully cross to Kuwait, they have to sit in a lorry tank with water as they wait for Abdul to pass the guards. They have to exercise caution as they stood a chance of being imprisoned, or worse killed should hey have been caught escaping. They, therefore, had to bake inside the tank of the lorry on two occasions for seven minutes as Abdul signed and left the areas with guards in a hurry.

Abu Quis would have opted to stay at home with his family and newborn as he watched them struggle. Still, he chose not to and decided to travel o Kuwait, besides the trip's battles like risking his life which would have been taken by the guards on the way and sitting in an oven with sloshing water to seek opportunities. That is representing the struggles he was willing to go for his family to ensure their survival. Marwan, just a young boy, is desperately ready for extra miles to secure his family's survival. That is depleted through his struggles, sitting oven like a tank that was to be full of water. Assad too, whose life is a representation of the road, just like his two accountancies Abu Quis and Marwan sit in an oven like lorry, under the sun as he bakes, burn and wait without giving up. Abdul's struggles took are seen though his sacrifice to smuggle the three men besides knowing that he would be killed when caught. His efforts underscore the trust he has for the men and the faith in himself that he would successfully smuggle them to Kuwait, coupled with the zeal to help them escape the sufferings of their homeland and seek better opportunities for themselves and their families. All their struggles are driven by their dreams and motives to reach the land of opportunities, coupled with their faith in Abdul, who they hope is pushing them closer to their ideas. Abdul too is struggling to do the best he can to can since he is the only way to their destination and the only way to achieving their dreams through the end of the road.

The roads are a representation of the struggle encountered by the men in reaching their dreams. Their efforts to survive on the way jeopardize their prior struggles in life in their homeland and their need to escape to Kuwait for better opportunities for them, their families and generations to come. Their quests to seek freedom are metaphorically explained through their homeland's initial struggles that informing the need for breaks and their efforts in the road. That notion which invokes the human's heart to race with the men as they travel on the road and escape without being caught. However, it is said that the men suffocate and die in their subsequent time inside the oven lorry tank while hiding from the guards. That comes as a disappointment Abdul who feels responsible for their deaths but also blames them for failure to knock. However, it is depicted that he men probably might have knocked but never answer cowing to the noise on the road, or possibly never knocked for fear of being caught and killed by the road guards and jeopardizing Abdul's life too. Knockngis metaphorically used by the author as worsening things for Palestine's and the louder and harder they knock, the more blood will be shed.


Kanafani, G. (1972).Men in the Sun.Igugaza Press. Retrieved from

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