Thesis – On one hand, through the rendition of a strong intellectual disposition to Gjorg and Diana, and gradual maturation of their analytical energies, but on the other hand, through the portrayal of Gjorg’s fatalistic outlook on ‘Kanun’ and languid state of hesitation throughout and eventually, their tragic endings, Ismail Kadare in ‘Broken April’ questions the likelihood whether it is really possible for man to break free from the shackles of age old tradition.Body 1Point - Gjorg and Diana are both portrayed as independent and deep thinkers.Evidence 11. He deliberately missing target first time ( 2 quotes )2. He questioned how ironic the exclusion of the priest’s was?3. Most of them would rejoice that the bloody shirt of their family member has finally been washed but for Gjorg, it sees through the vanity of all this.
It gives him no comfort.4. He even imagines that the life of his clan would have been if there hadn’t been 22 deaths.5. Plane incident – Metaphorically, he just saw his dreams ‘fly’ away.
Pain the neck/pain in the heart?ExplanationGjorg has differing viewpoints from his father/ general community towards the Kanun (does not believe or understand the Kanun or the purpose behind the killings). He seems to be beyond the intellectual frequency of the traditional people. All along, Gorge has had an intrinsic sense of rebellion. Gorg, in that sense, is a modern analytical philosopher rather than a traditionalist. He rather lead than follow. He rather be independent than dependent on thought systems.
He does not see sense in ‘Kanun’; he has to force himself to commit attoricitesEvidence 21. She counter-argues subtly with her husband in nearly every reply (How sad? How terrible? How brutal?2. Page 73 (Bessian is a conservative. Diane has the audacity to question ethics? Critical thinker. )3.
Page 71 – Lamp of inner enlightenment is beginning to ignite.4. LIKE GJORG, DIAN IS VERY sensitive to life, nature, surroundings.5. Conversation with Ali Dimak – She was in top form.Explanation - Diana’s perspective is almost entirely different from her husband, Bessian – an archetype of a person living in the modern city.
She becomes less in awe of the ‘tragically beautiful’ Kanun (overtime), instead, she feels revolted by it.Body 2Point – In contrast to his bright intellectual rebellious thought process, every now and then Gjorg slips into his state of justification of the truth of ‘Kanun’Evidence – Please give the references and quotes of the lines where he mentions that Kanun is older than life, it’s everywhere, it cannot be defeated, its eyes are watching everyone etc.Explanation – It seems like He is trying to justify Kanun’s power by deliberately creating a mental battle between two conflicting personal views. This endeavor seems ineffectual and renders Gjorg to be in a state of immense hesitation and non-action. Maybe, he should, jump into corrective action.
Why this fake justification? Why this fatalistic attitude? Is it ingrained? Why doesn’t he jump to the nearest plane to the city? (It did strike him) All in all, it’s quite clear that Kadara has painted Gjorg’s characterization as that of intense analytical and intellectual ability that sees through the fallacies of everything but is unable to act concretely on them.Body 3Point – Diana too has her bright moments but then she falls into these ‘outsider’ moments where she is half-hearted in her intellectual dissection of ‘Kanun’. She is more humanistic and sensitive to living beings rather than concepts.Evidence – Find the quotes where she is lacking in her fervor and feels lazy to argue anymore. Quotes where she has more or less given up.Explanation – Although, she is as bright as Gjorg, she is an outsider and hence maybe, she is not that attached to Kanun.
She sees it from the outside while Gjorg sees it from the inside. He feels Kanun while Diana is getting her first glimpse of Kanun through her husband’s words and her own experience on this journey. She too sees through the fallacies but sometimes she reverts to her role of a husband pleaser and rather stay quiet and ‘in her bubble’ rather than hurt Bessian.Body 4Point – Prospective individual enlightenment and hope is re-kindled when both the intellectual and emotional lighthouses, Diana and Gjorg see each other for the first time.Evidence – Quotes/ references about them both feeling renewed energy to break free from this vain and parochial culture.
Maybe even embrace in love far away? From that moment, the enlightenment lamp would only burn brighter. More strength. She now questions the Ali Dimak. Conversation.Explanation – Meeting a like-frequencied person is always an inspiration. Likewise ensues here.
Tired of seeing all the barbaric, insensitive and naïve, people throughout, both are rejuvenated by seeing someone that has the glow in his/her eyes. Kadare tries to change the monotony by bringing in a new scene. Maybe even offer readers hope of love and eventual emancipation.Body 5Point – Tragic Ending – Gjorg’s death and maybe even Diana’s inner death (the meeting with Gjorg and his paleness, stirred up something that will not rest till the end of the novel. She leaves in silence towards the end).
Tradition has crushed individual progressive thought.Evidence – Reference/quotes where hope is dwindling and Kanun is winning. But, Diana gives one last shot by entering the tower. She is still strong in her action.
Quotes of Gjorg’s renewed interest in finding the carriage. But eventually the gunshot – tragedy ensues. Bessian mentions that some part of her is left in the mountains forever.Explanation – With all the high and lows of Gjorg and Diana’s thoughts and actions, Kadare rings the final death bell and ends Broken April as a tragedy. Why he chose this tragic ending? One will never know. Maybe he is recounting his own experiences where the Albanian courts were putting him on trials and ‘troubling’ him from 1945 to 1985 because of his radical views.
Eventually, he ‘gave up’ and sought political asylum in France. Maybe, Kadare is trying to tell the readers that, there is no point in trying to find an age old custom. One will only die in vain pursuit. Maybe, it is better to safeguard one’s sanity and flee beyond the madness.