Tram 83 and The Negus


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(A) meaning one of many, and God pertaining to a group of higher beings or celestial type of entities or religious figures.

Requiem is referred to as The Negus as one of his many alias’ that are placed upon him at the beginning of this novel. The alias Negus is used specifically in chapter 27 to embody the biblical reference of a God like essence. Towfik creates a deeper connection in this section the characteristics of a God with Negus (Lucien) to allude to many aspects.

A more specific God that relates mostly to those ‘othered’ of similar status to himself. Almost like the Biblical stories of Jesus, roaming earth with his brothers. A list of ethnicities are rattled off, a formal aspect Towfik utilizes, ending with the fact that Negus “had their eye” (174). Furthermore, we gain a sense that Requiem is Negus, a god like figure, because for the most part he views these people as his brothers. Also, his sudden gain of money, shows the magical essence Jesus had with turning wine into water. Requiem suddenly had money that no one knew the source to. He has the ability to be half human and half God in the sense that he lives amongst us but has powers.


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His audiences range from humans to Gods. Everyone sees his misfortunes as “Gods were his witnesses…” of his demonstration of “…Negus Power” (175). He is able to rise above any one of his setbacks because of his God-like powers. He can also be seen as a devilish like God because of his setting in Tram 83. Like the devil, Requiem has many names, and he comes in many forms. The importance to identifying Requiem as an ultimate God-like individual in this novel is to give his demise later in the novel a more impactful and meaningful moment. An almighty God (Negus) has been defeated, brought down to a normal human. The point is to see him as touchable.


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