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Corpse Washer Book Review

5 pages
1136 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
Book review
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This is a book review of the corpse washer book by Sinan Antoon. Through the analysis, I will look into the characters portrayed by the author and the following message he tries to pass on to the reader. Similarly, I will explore the critical words and lessons that lie underneath the course book, and the general feel of the author. I will also describe the plot of the book in a much-simplified way such that a new reader can have a taste of what the entire book entails. This review will also contain my critical appraisal and reaction to the book. I will even try to look into the vast array of themes the author provides in his work, especially that of contemporary politics. It will give us a better insight into the global affairs concerning politics and other respective societal issues. Through the review, I will explore the various gaps that I feel the author should have addressed and critically analyze how worthwhile it is for a new reader to get a glimpse of what the book entails. This book review will improve our understanding of the contemporary issues, particularly in the political scene at global scales. It is vital to look into as it affects us all, both positively and negatively. The overview of the content in the book shows us that the author is of much concern to having an improved political scene for the good of all the people. This novel is acclaimed and celebrated in the Arab parts of the world for its brilliant insight on Iraq. Similarly, this heart-breaking book confronts the war-torn states in recent history. Sinan Antoon, the author, is a filmmaker, poet, and novelist born in Iraq. The authors goal was to reach out to the world by voicing this case of a young man whose life was tied up to traditional customs, rather than pursue the wishes of his heart. As much as the novel depicts a story of the young mans choices, it also pictures a situation in Iraq during the occupation of America

Born in a traditional Shiite family of corpse washers, a young gentleman by the name Jawad decides to abandon his family traditions and customs. Instead, he decides to venture into sculptures with the aim of celebrating life and not only working for those who died. He had a fantastic opportunity of attending a well-established arts learning institution known as Baghdads Academy of Fine Arts in the late 1980s. This move was in defiance of his fathers wishes. The societal perspective at the moment dictated otherwise. The dictatorial leadership of Saddam Hussein and the subsequent economic sanctions in the 1990s immensely destroyed both the social and economic fabric of the community at large. In 2003, the military invasion and own occupation unleashed a form of sectarian conflict. The violence that resulted ended up killing thousands of children, men, and women across Iraq. Corpses piled up around the place and this forces Jawad to go back to his initial job of attending to dead bodies. Jawad leaves his passion of creating life through artwork and is now forced to wash dead bodies of the inhabitants of Baghdad. It was traumatizing for the young man mainly since he was not interested in this particular job. In the wake of the ever-increasing tolls of fatality cases between 1990 and 2000, Jawad seeks another way of generating income that wont involve washing dead bodies at the mghasil. However, the young man still finds himself in his fathers profession of corpse washing and communing through them with the divine.

The author, Sinan Antoon shows us the heart of Iraqs violent and sophisticated recent history in regards to contemporary politics. Due to poor leadership in this country, a young mans dreams and ambitions are shattered. This novel explains how political manipulations by a few individuals end up affecting the lives of other people. It gives a picture of the contemporary political issues even in recent history. The author puts it very clear that war is the most significant source of violence internationally. This novel also improves our insight on how war renders a very disastrous expression of tendencies to violence innate to the human nature. The state of Iraq has for a very long time suffered abuse that is perpetuated by political manipulations and poor leadership. These effects are not only concerning the economy but also the social lives of the Iraqi inhabitants. For instance, a young mans dreams for pursuing artwork are slowly shattered as he is forced to attend to the ever-increasing dead bodies. It is just a representation of the millions of lives that are affected by the political-born violence. Jawad suffers trauma and depression, and this affects even his social life. It is clear from how he lives with other people around him, as well as his poor intimate relationships. Due to the nature of his work, Jawad develops a sense of solitude, which turns out to exert a powerful influence on his artistic ventures.

The author of this book did a fantastic job in telling the world of the millions of individuals that are affected by severe leadership, not only in Iraq but the world at large. Jawads story is just a representation of the numerous people whose dreams and ambitions are affected wherever there is terrible leadership. Recently, most countries are at war, mainly due to leaders who manipulate the public. Millions of people ranging from children, women, and end up losing their lives, just as in the case of Iraq. These circumstances render a questioning socioeconomic environment that ends up affecting the lives of people. The author aimed to reach out to the world by expressing this case of a young man whose life was tied up to traditional customs, rather than pursue the desires of his heart. As much as the novel depicts a story of the young mans choices, it also pictures a situation in Iraq during the occupation of America. In the end, the audience returns to the journey of Jawad. Despite his numerous attempts to escape, through love, art, and flight, his destiny lies on going back to wash dead bodies and preparing them for burial. The personal life of Jawad is greatly influenced by the wages of death. My view on the book is that is it good, especially in the sense that it represents a massive group of people who suffer just like Jawad. Similarly, I would recommend anyone to read this book, to have a better understanding of the political and society in Iraq. Any reader who is interested in exploring contemporary politician and societal issues will find this novel By Sinan Antoon quite interesting. The author of this book did a great job in depicting the story of how a young boys ambitions and dreams were devastated.

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