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Literature is being used in order to tell of the things that are happening in the world or those that have happened before. In various histories, it can be seen that literature played a big part such as when artists and writers wrote in papers all that have transpired especially when such events affected the history and the way people are living or have lived in the past. The great example of this scenario is the novel entitled “Shanty-Town Kid” written by Azouz Begag.

This novel has made a great impact in the lives of many people particularly the Algerians during the early days in the history. Apparently, it can be seen that reading the novel gave the readers a different form of understanding to what really transpired between the Algerians and the French. It has been stated many a times that the likes of Adam Smith, Fukuyama and even Judith Butler were the geniuses of their time. They were considered as the intellectuals of the era in which they lived. However, such thinking is limited. The people that have been considered to be ones that are equipped with intellect and knowledge to talk about how the world is revolving. But then again, the Shanty-Town Kid altered such kind of thinking and developed a new wave of intellect and understanding as to how people really dealt with each other.

On the other hand, another novel entitled “Algeria Unveiled” by Fanon also speaks of the various undertakings that every Algerian and the relationship they had with the French. Although it can be said that the two writers have different approaches and writing styles, it has been apparent that both are dealing with the social context of racism, discrimination and other forms of social problems that are attached with differing nature, race, educational background, social status and even the political affiliation and religious background of the people in the community of Algerians and French.


In the novel Shanty-Town Kid, the issues of racism, exploitation, poverty and even the complicated issue of racial and cultural gaps have been discussed. It must be remembered that during the time of Azouz, the French culture is the one dominating the community and the society. The culture of the French is known in the society and everyone is being influenced by it. Because of such dominance, the dominating culture of the French is clashing with the culture and tradition of the Algerian descent. The main reason for the clashing culture is the question of who will be able to get the solid and dominating identity in the society. With this kind of securing identity in the society, there are many factors that have been taken into consideration. Factors such as educational background and social standing have been taken into great amount of consideration. With this, the two culture and races established a racial tension. It must be noted that with the manner of trying to win dominance over another race, the weaknesses are being established and exposed (Fanon 98). The French would say that the Algerians lacked the education and the money needed in order to secure dominance in the society. A great part of the Shanty-Town Kid tackles the cleanliness and the proper sanitation needed to establish and shape the identity of the people.

However, it cannot be denied that even if there are racial tensions and exploitations that are happening in the society, there are still individuals that are helping the Algerians such as the teachers in the society that are very willing to render their help and support to the newly migrated people. The teachers made every effort to integrate all the children into one shaped identity under the guise of teaching and education. It no longer matter whether or not the children are French or Algerians. The barriers of racial differences have been bridged with the help of the teachers and various educators in the community.

Hence, it can be seen that in the eyes of Azouz, the Shanty-Town Kid novel is the great manifestation of cultural gap being bridged through the children that are being taken cared of by the teachers. However, it can be seen that there is some sort of similarity as compared to what Fanon wrote in his essay entitled “Algeria Unveiled.” It must be noted that the teachers and other educators in the society are holding the children regardless of their race. In such an undertaking, it has been apparent that in the manner of educating the children, the teachers are not only integrating the children into a whole new dimension of shaped identity which only means that the French teachers are influencing the children to become something that they are not. The culture of the Algerian children is slowly shifting into becoming French by slowly adapting the culture of the people from France (Fanon 112). In this regard, colonialism is still apparent and is being practiced by many people as well in the society. The era in which Azouz lived is also the era when Fanon realized that there is a great amount of colonialism practiced. In this regard, it has been apparent that Azouz failed to understand that what the teachers are doing are not mere act of heroism or does it connotes kind heartedness but rather to decipher the situation speaks of colonialism hidden in the acts being committed.

With all the foregoing, it can be seen that the novel entitled Shanty-Town Kid and the essay Algeria Unveiled, revealed a more detailed explanation of colonialism, racial tensions, poverty and influences. The nation that is richer and more powerful has the capacity to influence and make as a colony another nation inferior in terms of riches, wealth and power. However, it can also be seen that despite the power of colonialism, the truth that many have been able to be reached and helped in going through the problems and the complexities that life has to offer to every person in this world.


Begag, Azouz. Shanty Town Kid. New York: Zone Books, 2007.

Fanon, Frantz. A Dying Colonialism. New York: Grove Pres, 1994.


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