In his novel “In the Country of Men,” Hisham matar explores a vast variety of different themes proving and disproving the statement that Libya is an incidental setting to the story. Libya is portrayed in the novel as a struggling county under an extreme dictatorship regime implemented by Muammer Gaddafi. The author explores many themes such as fear and betrayaldue to the strict regime but also others which are more universal such as friendship and masculinity.
Fear and the sense of insecurity is a prevalent theme throughout the story of the this novel as the strict regime that Libya is under has all characters paranoid about betraying the regime and suffering the fatal consequences that go with it.
This is one factor that is incidental to Libya because they know that standing out in society could get them into trouble, thus forcing them conform rather than push the boundaries and risk getting punished.
“This is a time for walking beside the wall”. One character who was thought to be a traitor was Ustath Rashid who was publicly executed on national live television for betraying the regime which demonstrates Libya’s cruelty during the time of the story. On the other hand there are also themes evident in the story which are not specifically related to Libya.
An example is the friendships between various characters in the story such as Najwa and Salma, Suleiman and Kareem, and most importantly Faraj and Ustath Rashid.
The friendship that has the most relevance within the story is that of Faraj and Ustath Rashid because of the fact that at one time or another they were both seen as traitors and were both sort after by the government officials. When Rashid is taken by government officials Faraj does everything in his power to try and get him back which demonstrates the nature of a true best friend, and a quality that can be seen in best friends all over the world.
Another good example is the question of what is masculinity? or w…