First Advisor

Claudine Fischer

Term of Graduation

Spring 1997

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in French


World Languages and Literatures




Abdelhak Serhane 1950 - Soleil des obscurs, Abdelhak Serhane 1950 -- Characters -- Women, Women in literature



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, 130 pages)


Current trends in North African francophone literature include a movement towards the exploration of alienation and exile, most often in the form of novels written about Maghrebian immigrants in Europe. Yet this alienation exists within the North African context as well, and it is possible to feel alienated and exiled, as well as marginalized, within one's homeland. This question is explored by Moroccan francophone author Abdelhak Serhane in his novel, Le Soleil des obscurs, which is the focus of this study.

The purpose of the research is to examine the four principle female characters in the novel and relate them to the male protagonist. First, an overview of North African francophone literature is presented to provide framework for the novel. Then, a variety of current sociological and anthropological materials are reviewed to synthesize the background for an understanding of the novel's social context. In order to give substance to the themes of alienation and exile, two short stories are briefly examined: Leila Sebbar's Les Carnets de Sherazade, and Andree Chedid's La Soudanaise.

The majority of the study focuses on Le Soleil des obscurs. The research is divided into two parts: the female protagonists and the male protagonist. Lalla Ai"cha, Lalla Batoul, Aouicha, and Mina are the central female characters. Each is examined at length, and their respective roles and attributes are discussed in terms of Moroccan society and culture. All four women are oppressed to different degrees; Mina and Aouicha remain marginalized from the norm by their actions. Soltane, the male protagonist, gradually reveals alienation and failure when related to the women.

Serhane successfully portrays a society in which individuals are marginalized and oppressed by traditional mores and roles. Although pessimistic in subject, the novel itself brings hope, as Serhane unveils the conflict of marginality. He does not suggest any concrete solutions, yet the fact that he explores this conflict yields optimism, and his work can serve to awaken humanity to the problems associated with a society in which many of its rural members are alienated.


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