Asserting Resistance in Nazrul’s “The Rebel” and Al-Shabbi’s “Will of Life”




combat literature, decolonization, postcolonialism, resistance literature


The most valuable asset an oppressed subject loses, under all forms of abuse, is their sense of dignity. From colonial empires to postcolonial dictatorships, the fundamental objective of every tyrant's authority has been removing their subjects’ humane existence and placing them in distorted realities where they can be grateful for just being alive. This paper looks at two notable pieces, Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam’s “The Rebel” and Tunisian poet Abu al-Qasim al-Shabbi's “Will of Life”, as examples of anticolonial works living beyond their context. Despite their distinctive colonial experiences, both poets present a similar revolutionary zeal and desire for liberty. In particular, the study focuses on how the two poets sought to develop a consciousness of resistance in their readers in accordance with the Fanonian concepts of wretchedness and revolution. The paper compares how the two works attempt to decolonize the people they address and reclaim their national identity through the portrayal of the self, the assimilation of nature, and the representation of the divine.

Author Biographies

Manzura Hoque, Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University

 Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University

Sitah AlQahtani, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University

Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and English Literature

Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University



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Date of Publication

2023-10-05 — Updated on 2024-01-02

How to Cite

Hoque, M., & AlQahtani, S. (2024). Asserting Resistance in Nazrul’s “The Rebel” and Al-Shabbi’s “Will of Life”. International Journal of Arabic-English Studies, 24(1), 193–206.



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