Humanity is Lost

Humanity, or should I say the lack of humanity is an extremely important theme in the novel Utopia, by Ahmed Towfik. Commonly the characters in this novel are referred to as animals, of course showing the lack of humanity. But for Alaa an animal could be a step up from where he was in the beginning of this novel

At the beginning of this novel we find Alaa, a member of the rich, utopian society, so bored out of his mind that mind altering drugs cannot entertain him. Sex has also become just another thing to do for him. If we analyze this scene it’s obvious to tell that this is a man without a purpose. He has no goals he wants to achieve but honestly why would he? He already lives in Utopia.

There is something to be said about a person with no purpose. A person without a purpose is hardly a person at all. Someone who does not contribute and actively causes trouble is not a person anymore, if anything they are just a burden. But one day this burden decides he wants more trouble so he wanders into the lower section of the city where all the poverty lives.

Speaking of poverty, now seems like a good time to talk about Gaber. Gaber is referred to as a dog. It is very dehumanizing to be called any animal, let alone a dog. Dogs are usually seen as vicious and dirty street animals, which actually does fit his character very well. This being said dogs do what they can to survive. A dog’s purpose is to survive, this is more than anyone can say about Alaa.

Eventually people start using animals to describe Alaa just like they do with Gaber. Somehow I see this as an improvement from before. He is an animal now, he has a sense of purpose now. I believe that venturing into the streets of poverty and being put in very dangerous situations was exactly what Alaa needed. It will show him the importance of life and that may force him to stop wasting his. Hopefully if this affects him in a positive way and he can regain his humanity.

-Ben Edic

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