Estrangement in Fadia Faqir’s My Name is Salma
This study investigates estrangement as the individual’s feeling of separation and loneliness from oneself, others and, the native place where estrangement takes many forms, such as social, physical, and cultural estrangement. Estrangement is a characteristic that distinguishes a person and is described as a natural phenomenon and sometimes is labeled as a pathological phenomenon. It is also described as a multidimensional phenomenon due to its philosophical, social, psychological, and even literary uses. The increasing number of estrangement cases, commonly in developing countries such as Jordan, requires serious academic analysis not only because the victims’ lives are at stake, but also because the phenomenon of estrangement is still gravely unaddressed and overlooked due to religious and socio-cultural norms labeling it as a social and cultural taboo. Of late, there has been growing interest among Middle Eastern, Arab, and Jordanian researchers and writers in portraying estrangement through their literary works (Maher, 2018). Thus, in this paper, we shall examine the manifestations of estrangement in the Jordanian context through a textual analysis of My Name is Salma by Fadia Faqir, an author considered one of the founding figures of the contemporary literary movement in Jordan. Originally written in English, this novel highlights the suffering of a Jordanian woman due to the fear of being a victim of the honor killing at the hands of her tribal family in a male-controlled society. Through social, patriarchal, and Islamic readings to analyze My Name is Salma (2007), we shall examine Faqir’s depictions of the phenomenon of estrangement in the novel as an extremely engendered phenomenon resultant from male domination and gender inequity prevalent in the Jordanian society. This paper is premised based on the analysis of the estrangement and its association with a Muslim woman, as depicted in My Name is Salma through the novel’s female character, particularly the main protagonist, Salma.
Keywords: Isolation, Islam, Fadia Faqir, Male-dominated, Estrangement