Prostitution and Personhood: A Reading of Naguib Mahfouz's The Thief and the Dogs
Akhuemokhan, Sophia I
Okolocha, H. Oby
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Peer reviewed article. The essay examines Nur, a female prostitute in The Thief and the Dogs, with a view to analyzing her personhood. It looks at two cardinal areas in which her personhood is affirmed - her identity, and her relationship with the outside world - and demonstrates that her occupation is detrimental, but not absolutely lethal, to her positive self-concept. By comparing Nur periodically with Said, the male protagonist, the essay highlights her fundamental merit in spite of her controversial career. Mahfouz is not a spokesman for prostitution, but his treatment of Nur establishes his discernment when judging women in the oldest profession.