The connection of the characters to the country and what is happening in it is parallel to the relationships between the characters.
The heroes of the book represent different generations and their attitudes towards the land and the state.
Ilana is the desirable woman from which Gideon is running to the U.S.A. She represents the land, the country that betrayed him but he can’t cut himself loose, the bond is stronger than him.
Michelle Somo is not a compromiser and therefore is not ready to share the woman- the land with a foreigner.
Gideon’s father- represents the generation of the founders. The pioneers, who worked the land, built it and traded it. The Arabs were their servants and their workers.
Ilana and Gideon represent the generation of the sons. Gideon who was dedicated to the forceful Zionist ideal and killed Arabs left to America. Ilana the daughter of immigrants is fed up with the country and plans on leaving it and moving to a big distant city. The two of them are subjected to urges of self destruction. They lack the basic skills of living a normal life.
Boaz- represents the generation of the grandchildren. The “sabre” that, is the sour fruit of the parents’ generation. He returns to the house of the grandfather to renew and repair it, in contrast to his parents who are busy in their self- destruction and false redemption. He chooses not to settle in America. He chooses to live the present without the burden of the past. He has to go through metamorphose from violence and torment to peace and happiness.
Is such a position and attitude toward the land strong enough?
Isn’t there a certain naivety and shallowness in his refusal to go to the bottom of the national battle? There is no one answer to this question, as the answer to the question: what will be the future of the country on which we have been fighting for so many years?
THIS PIECE AS A REFLECTION OF THE ISRAELI SOCIETY
This novel is a social novel that represents the Israeli society and the social and political processes in it in the 70’s. The tension, which creates the problems and conflicts that have occupied the Israeli society, is expressed in the novel. For example: the Palestinian-Israeli old dispute over the land, the Palestinians’ and the Jews’ right to live here and the main question of a possible solution to this complex dispute.
There are different opinions as to how to resolve this conflict. The novel reveals another conflict: the right and the left. It’s the conflict between Somo who is a right wing fanatic and Gideon who represents the left wing elitism. Somo encourages a polite immigration of Arabs and is busy redeeming the lands from the Arabs. Whereas, Gideon tries to leave his Zionism behind and runs away to the “academy fortress” in the London exile.
These two heroes reveal another conflict. The conflict between”mizrachim” and “Ashkenazim”, between religious people and secular people.
There’s also a conflict between the “Ashkenazi”, secular veterans who were the founders of the state and the “mizrachim” who are represented by Michelle Somo. He was born in Algeria and has arrived lately from France. He is a religious man who is becoming more and more orthodox. Somo represents the political change in the country and the famous revolution on which the right wing won the elections.
These conflicts which characterized the Israeli society haven’t been resolved, the opposite is the case, and they are still present in our daily reality in their full power.