French Senior Inquiry

Document Type

Student Paper

Publication Date



French and Francophone Language and Literature

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

This paper seeks to explore the lasting effects of French Colonialism and Orientalism in the Maghreb through the lens of Abdellah Taïa’s novel Celui qui est digne d’être aimé. In this analysis, I focus on the chapter “Juillet 2005,” in which the protagonist, Ahmed—a young, gay Moroccan man—describes his thirteen-year sexual/romantic relationship with a French man, Emmanuel, and comes to recognize that, within this relationship, he lacks true agency and is still a colonized body. I argue that the effects of Colonialism and Orientalism are made visible through exchanges of power within the images, dialogue, and narration presented in Ahmed and Emmanuel’s relationship. These exchanges, I claim, are present in the dichotomy of speech versus silence, descriptions of the senses, and the narration of sexual encounters. I assert that, because of these exchanges read in tandem with Ahmed’s realization of his lack of agency, “Juillet 2005” represents a piece of resistance literature both within Taïa’s literary world and contemporary Franco-Maghrebi relations.