Verbs As Drivers Of Action: A Stylistic Study Of Hanan Al-Shaykh’s Novel The Story Of Zahra

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Ehab S. , Ali Alshhre


This paper examines the stylistic analysis of verbs as drivers of action in Hanan Al-Shaykh’s novel The Story of Zahra. Verbs are described as ‘action words’. Many verbs give the idea of action, of ‘doing’ something; for example, words like write, teach, sing and work convey some action. But some verbs do not give the idea of action; they give the idea of existence or a state of ‘being’; for example, verbs like be, appear, exist, seem, feel and belong convey a state. A verb always has an explicit or implied subject. Verbs form the main part of the predicate of a sentence. Verbs are also the drivers of written and spoken discourse, carrying it forward between conversants. This study focuses on the stylistic analysis of the novel The Story of Zahra by Hanan al-Shaykh which was translated into English by Peter Ford in 1986 by Quartet. The novel is set in Beirut before and during the Lebanese Civil War, and tells the story of a woman named Zahra, whose struggles with her family and country lead to her suffering and eventual death. The Story of Zahra is analysed lexically with focus on verbs. During the analysis, it is revealed through by using specific verbs, how the writer imitated the real image of the war-torn society and the tragic life of a young girl Zahra. The use of lexical verbs in the novel is enough to analyse the text and convey the central feelings of the particular novel.

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