Department Chair

Dr. Ralph L. Wahlstrom, Associate Professor of English

Date of Award

5-2012

Access Control

Campus-Only Access

Degree Name

English, M.A.

Department

English Department

Advisor

Barish Ali, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English

Department Home page

http://english.buffalostate.edu/

First Reader

Barish Ali, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English

Second Reader

Aimable Twagilimana, Ph.D., Professor of English

Abstract

The existence of Palestine is a question that has haunted the East ever since Israel’s occupation laid roots there in the mid-twentieth century. Occupation allowed for Israel not only to conquer the land of Palestine for itself but also, through bloodied battles and harsh socio-political expectations, to squeeze the essence of cultural identity from the Palestinians. As the occupation stripped the cultural heritage from the Palestinians, they were placed into roles of refugees and exiles, leaving them to wander blankly with only the painfully scarred memories of what used to be their home and culture. Ghassan Kanafani and Sahar Khalifeh use their works Men in the Sun and Wild Thorns to expose the depths to which the enforcement of the occupation maimed Palestinians, illuminating the amputation of these people from their homeland. Both Kanafani and Khalifeh’s texts explore the phantasmal memories of Palestine, while forging tales of Palestinians who are forced to either assimilate with the vision of the occupation or stand tall against it. This thesis argues that the occupation orders Palestinians to adapt to occupied life through a prosthetic process that allowed them to survive within the confines of occupation while granting them the possibility of resurrecting Palestine once again. Examining these texts through the lens of prosthesis and amputation, this paper illuminates the scars that were left by the occupation on the Palestinians and investigates how these scars work as phantom pains that remind the Palestinians of their natural identity within the world.

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