Ideology and Alienation in Mouloud Mammeri’s Le sommeil du juste (1955) and Heinrich Böll’s The Clown (1963)

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Mouloud Mammeri University of Tizi-Ouzou


This research work is a comparative study of two literary works: Mouloud Mammeri’s Le Sommeil du juste (1955) and Heinrich Böll’s The Clown (1963). The main purpose of this study is to show how Ideology is reflected in both novels during the Second World War and Post Second World War in both Algeria and Germany, despite their cultural and language differences. To achieve my goal, I have relied on Louis Althusser’s two concepts “ideological subject” and “State Apparatuses” of Ideology developed in his essay Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (1971). The study has revealed that the two authors share the same view about the dominating ideologies of their times at the level of characters and themes. Taking into consideration that the two novels are written in a period of strong ideologies. First, concerning characters, the protagonists of the two novels Arezki and Hans have rejected the imposed ideologies (Nazism) and (Colonialism) which are portrayed in their actions and deeds with their families and societies. This is marked as a great failure for the two systems. Second, the imposed ideologies have led the two protagonists to be subjects of alienation. In other words, Arezki and Hans have become separated and detached from their families and societies as well. In addition, this study has revealed, that each political system has relied on a specific means to justify a violent act and legitimate it (War), in both societies, Algeria and Germany, and have led people to participate in it.




Mouloud Mammeri, Le sommeil du juste, Heinrich Böll, The Clown, Louis Althusser, Ideology, state apparatus, alienation, legitimization of war.


Comparative Literature