A Psychoanalytic Reading of Ahmed Saadawi's Novel Frankenstein in Baghdad

  • Mohammad Ahmad Mostafa Al-Leithy Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU), Saudi Arabia
Keywords: Saadawi, psychoanalytic, novel, reading, Baghdad, psychic ailments


Ahmed Saadawi’s novel Frankenstein in Baghdad provides a distinct exposure of the psychic ailments (disorders) that engulf almost all of the characters in the novel. Even though they are not themselves aware of the problem, the characters in the novel suffer from split psyches, traumas they cannot deal with and knots they cannot resolve. The novel shows, to quote T. S. Eliot, but “a heap of broken” (Ellmann 459) psyches. Such is a phenomenon that blights contemporary Iraqi personality in general and can, in a sense, be termed collective unconscious (Bressler 127) (Note 1). The novel is, thus, a representation of what can be dubbed psychic fractures that have befallen the Iraqi character, noticeably ensuing the American invasion of Iraq that took place in 2003, the aftermaths of which the Iraqi people is still undergoing. Importantly, despite being an essential facet of the novel and an indispensable venue to understanding the characters this aspect has escaped the attention of critics and researchers alike.


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