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According to the renowned and leading Lebanese novelist author, playwright, and short-story writer, Hanan Al-Shaykh, of the short story The Persian Carpet from the collection book Arabic short stories. The author tells about a strained and shattered relationship between mother and daughter. The narrator who is the daughter becomes sensitive when she met with her divorced mother, who had since remarried and moved to the new home. The encounter of the two aroused unhappy memory to the girl and especially when she saw the Persian carpet on the floor of the new home (Al-Shaykh, 1994).
The mother of the narrator clearly exhibits incredibly selfish traits. Several instances and characteristic traits depict this. First and foremost this is reflected by her decision to get into divorce. Out rightly this decision brings out a clearer picture of selfishness than what she might have been going through in her personal life or rather the causing issue. The fact is that a responsible and unselfish mother would prioritize and adequately consider the concerns affecting her very own children before hers (Al-Shaykh, 1994). The mother failed to meet to mind these criteria and thus it speaks volume of her character. Consequently the move exposed te children especially the daughter to lack of enough parental care and attention, this is shown by the strained and shattered rapport between the narrator and the mother.
When the daughters visited the mother in her new home, the narrator reactions tells how shattered the relationship was. The narrator is quoted saying "I stood there motionless, wishing that I could move her arms from around me and drop my teeth into that white forearm. I wished that the instant of meeting could be re-enacted and undone, that she could open the door again and I could stand there - as I should have done - with my eyes looking down at the floor and my forehead in a scowl" (Al-Shaykh, 1994).
During the same visit the mother uses words that are selfish and aimed at covering the strained relationship. She told the narrator "you must visit every other day, you must stay the whole of Friday at my home" (Al-Shaykh, 1994). The spirit behind these words is deceptiveness and selfishness as we all know the true state of the relationship. The very words can be closely related to her action of warmly receiving the daughters when they visited. This was only a bid to cover her selfish move of leaving the family by getting to a divorce and thereafter remarrying and relocatingg to the new home. However the narrator helps the reader get the true picture of the scenario. This is captured by what she says "Again I glanced at my mother and she construed my gaze as being one of fond longing, so she laid her arms round me" (Al-Shaykh, 1994), this words show how the daughter had missed parental love from the mother since they were leaving apart and generally the rapport was wanting.
Another episode that elucidates the selfish character of the mother is brought out during the visit, the narrator noticed the Persian carpet on the floor of the new home where she had been remarried and relocated. Apparently the carpet had mysteriously disappeared from the old family house. Subsequently the mother had laid very strong accusations to an old man who used to repair cane chairs in the quarter. The act of accusing the old man is a sign of how selfish and malicious the mother was. If we can try to put ourselves in the shoes of the old man and interpret the impression the old man had for the mother, it was indeed selfish for the mother to accuse the old man without any tangible evidence (Al-Shaykh, 1994). All in all the involvement of the mother in the divorce and the accusation of the old man are concrete evidence of her selfishness.