International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Symbol of the Veil in Mohja Kahf’s the Girl in the Tangerine Scarf
Dr. Areen Khalifeh

This paper discusses the symbol of the veil in Mohja Kahf’s The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf from a postcolonial critical perspective. It argues that the symbol of the veil is not universal as many Western theorists and feminists aver. The veil is not a sign of oppression but rather a shifting signifier with multiple meanings. In the novel, it does not stand only for heritage and Islamic identity, but also it is a feminist, political, idealistic, and a revolutionary symbol as well as a symbol of love. The veil’s symbolic meaning varies according to the protagonist’s geographical and psychological experience. Moreover, the rhythmic fluctuation between veiling and unveiling resembles her oscillation between different identities. By deconstructing the concept of the veil, we actually deconstruct the concept of strangeness in general, and the feminist strangeness in particular.

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