Palestinian Woman’s Identity Shift from Implicit-Being to Explicit-Becoming: A Review of Susan Abulhawa’s Against the Loveless World

  • Khadija Bibi MPhil Scholar, Department of English, Institute of Southern Punjab, Multan, Pakistan
  • Abdul Rashid Lecturer, Department of English, Bahadur Sub Campus Layyah, Pakistan
  • Unaiza Khudai PhD Scholar, Department of English, University Teknologi Malaysia
Keywords: Being, Victimization and Trauma, Identity Crisis, Identity Reformation, Survival, Becoming


Susan Abulhawa takes the concept of Palestinian Woman’s Identity Shift on account of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and experiences of homelessness. Her novel, Against the Loveless World, has been selected for this study. The present study on account of being qualitative in nature has been thematically analyzed in the light of Stuart Hall theory of representation (1997). In the light of analyzed data, we find that Palestinians are transported from their ancestral lands to refugee camps without crossing international borders. Characters of the novel Against the Loveless World demonstrate how difficult it is to tackle all these issues and build a Palestinian identity while living in exile. Palestinians' exile boosted their sense of national identity by developing strong bonds among refugees and strong anti-Israeli sentiment. The protagonist fought for love and belonging in a world that wanted to give her nothing. Nahr’s life unfolds in unexpected directions like imperialism, invasion, occupation, and colonialism; racism, sexism, psychological diseases, and class are the context of her life. On the brink of poverty and shouldering the responsibility to keep her family afloat, Nahr struggled for everything she could do to ensure her survival. She suffers much. She survives. Nahr is willing to face dangers, and she proves the gritty realness of women’s trek toward feminist defiance and individual dignity. Nahr is determined to find love in a loveless world, a ray of hope for others. This is a woman's journey from Being nothing to becoming something, being a victim and traumatized character to becoming powerful and determined to survive and constructing an individual identity in a loveless world. It vindicates the significant process of identity shift taking place in Palestinian fiction.