The Story of Sinuhe Essay
The Story of Sinuhe
The story is about Sinuhe, an individual who loses his status after fleeing from his country, Egypt and later gains his rightful place in the Egyptian society by restoring himself. The story first draws Sinuhe as a coward who deserts his king for fearing for his own life. Sinuhe then challenges an opponent in a combat and comes out successfully (Gardiner and Alan, pg 8 ). This win impacts positively on his life and eventually decides to go back to his homeland. Synopsis
This is a story that is about an individual called Sinuhe, ‘son of the sycamore’. It was composed after Pharaoh Amenemhat I’s death who founded the 12th dynasty of Egypt in the 12th BC. The story is believed to be fictional as there is no evidence to claim that the story is based on a true story. In the tale, Sinuhe, an official and accompanies Senwosret who is a prince to the neighboring Libya when war was waged against Libyans. While on the trip, he overhears a conversation about the death of King Amenemhet I, the father to prince V and it is due to this that he decides to flee to settle in Caanan (Bullock and Ronald, pg 12). He eventually marries the daughter to Chief Ammunenshi and his sons later grow to be chiefs. Sinuhe also helped Ammunenshi to fight against rebbilious tribes. After defeating a strong opponent in a single fight, he decides to return to Egypt, his homeland so as to end his days there. Sinuhe had learnt what it means to be an Egyptian, and he once again became an Egyptian. King Senwosret I invited him to the palace upon his arrival and he accepted to live there (Bullock and Ronald, pg 25).
Sinuhe finally died while living enjoying his last moments at the royal palace. The story of Sinuhe is considered by Egyptologists to be one of the greatest works ever written and a prime example of Egyptian literature from the time of the Pharaohs. Contribution to western culture and influence on life today. The story has had a great effect on the western culture. All aspects of the western culture can be related to the story as incidences in the story can be directly compared those of the western culture. for instance, Sinuhe is an immigrant who becomes successful in a foreign land. Sinuhe flees from his country, Egypt and resolves to live in Syria. It is while in Syria that he becomes successful and is given an opportunity to be the ruler of a tribe of the choicest in the foreign country. His sons eventually become chiefs too and thus the family became successful. Most western countries have experienced such incidences whereby immigrants have been able to follow in the steps of Sinuhe (Matthews, Platt and Thomas, pg 45).
The USA is an example of a country with such a trend. Most people have been able to climb up the ladder of different professions yet their roots is easily be traced to other countries. The United Kingdom is another example of a country with the same culture. Immigrants from different countries, mostly from Africa have been well welcomed and most of them are currently enjoying their stay there. The hardwork that Sinuhe potrays can also be related to most western culture. Sinuhe showed a lot of enthusiasim in his work and he managed to acquire a tremendous wealth while in the foreign land. Sinuhe was given land whereby he worked harder in trying to increase his wealth. His flock became bigger and he also climbed up the ladder while was working as the army leader(Matthews, Platt and Thomas, pg 47).
This aspect has been well incorporated into the western culture and many people have able to work harder in whichever professions they are in so as to acquire more wealth. There is also the aspect of patriotism in the story. Much like most immigrants who are based in western countries, Sinuhe fled to Syria when he feared for his life. Sinuhe spent most part of his life in Syria though he later opted to go back to Egypt (Matthews, Platt and Thomas, pg 54). In the story, Sinuhe claims that there is no better place for him to be buried other than Egypt, his birthplace. Even with the treatment he got while in Syria, nothing could convince him to stay so as to be buried there. Just like Sinuhe, most immigrants in the western countries have also opted to be taken back and buried in their own birth place. The story also illustrates how Sinuhe is appreciated by King Senusret who decides to invite him back to Egypt. This is after the King heard about Sinuhe’s story. Sinuhe was asked if he was returning to Egypt so as to see the Residence where he grew up. He was also told that he would kiss the earth at the Great Double Door and he shall join the courtiers.
Through this, the western culture has benefited a lot through rewarding their heroes who show great patriotism to their countries(Matthews, Platt and Thomas, pg 56). (Matthews, Platt and Thomas, pg 45).. Most soldiers who participate in war are usually honored by the respective western countries. For example Britain which has honored many of her patriots in various lines of work. Sinuhe’s burial is well organized and his tomb is well designed by the chief draftsman whereas chief pyramid mason took charge of its ground. The chief sculptor curved it and the chief builders of necreopolis also participated. Most western cultures honor their heroes by providing state burials to them. This is due to the great services provided by these people to their countries during their lifetime(Matthews, Platt and Thomas, pg 59).. Most state officials are honored in this manner in western countries. Britain for instance is known for such events. How it influences life today.
The author of the book is highly recognized all over the world for the work he did on the story. His literature is still revisted a lot by many authors who consider the story as one of the greatest story ever written. The story has also encouraged many writers to explore variety of themes found in the work(Matthews, Platt and Thomas, pg 53).. Sinuhe’s act of fleeing to Syria has been widely debated among scholars while most of them considering the act as panic. The symbols used in the tale also give upcoming writers various skills on how to incorporate various techniques in their work. Naguib Mahfouz won an award after publishing a 1941 a story that was entirely based on the story of Sinuhe. Hollywood also produced the movie,’The Egyptian’ which was also based on the story. The story also encourages generosity in the modern society. Sinuhe ran from his country and headed to Syria where he was highly welcomed by Chief Ammunenshi.
He takes him and gives to him her daughter as a wife. He also provided with the best land and all the good things that could be found in the country(Matthews, Platt and Thomas, pg 65).. The modern society has witnessed cases where people help each other in times of need. The modern society encourages people to help one another as no one knows when they will also be in need. Many immigrants have been received in other countries without any ill treatments. They receive the same treatments as the country’s citizens while at the same time offered protection against any danger. Countries also learn to accept to appreciate the work of their citizens. This is a result of the story whereby Sinuhe is highly welcomed back to his birthplace. He is offered a place to stay. He resides in a room of the son to the king and given nice robes to wear. The king also builds him a nice tomb through the use of state builders and masons(Matthews, Platt and Thomas, pg 32)..
Most people are nowadays honored by their respective countries for the efforts they put in different works they participate in. The story gives hope to those who go to exile that at one time they would return to their countries. Sinuhe spends most of his years in exile where he goes to hide for fearing for his life. There is no day Sinuhe thinks of coming back to his country, Egypt. He however wishes Egypt the best even if he is not going to return. It is after a fight in a single combat that Sinuhe gains a name and the Egyptian king decides to invite him to Egypt(Matthews, Platt and Thomas, pg 42). Sinuhe is surprised and this and eventually opts to travel back to his birthplace. Just like Sinuhe, exiles in different countries are regaining hope of going back to their countries one day. The story also illustrates animosity that existed between different countries in the past. These countries waged wars against each other leading to the disappearance of many people.
It is due to conflict between Libyans and Egyptians that Sinuhe left his country for Syria. The king of Egypt, Amenemhat had sent Sinuhe alongside the prince on a military expedition to Libya. During this time, the King is killed which is known to Sinuhe that it was a conspiracy back at the palace (Gardiner and Alan, pg 11). He hence opts to run away. Wars usually result to such incidences and it has happened in the current society. Many people have had to leave their countries without any notice because of war. Major steps are taken by various international bodies to aid such people and in helping countries to reconcile. The United Nations is an example of organizations that have been put in place to help people in times of war. Refugees are also helped by being provided with aid in terms of food, shelter and clothing( Gardiner and Alan, pg 22). The story has helped in shaping the society by showing the effects of war.
Moreover, peace talks have been the major tool used to cool down tensions that could slowly transform to war. This talks help in creating a peaceful society that hosts people from any background. Religion has also been followed modern society just like Sinuhe observed in the story. Religion creates a moral society that does right gives thanks to their god for every step they make in life (Gardiner and Alan, pg 34). Through the story, the modern society has set days that people worship their gods. People believe in the existence of a supernatural being that control events that happen on earth. People believe that this being assures people security, good health and provides them with life that they have.
It is through divine intervention that Sinuhe is provided with strength on his flight while on exile until the time he returned to his homeland. He exclaims at once-“whether I am in the Residence, or whether I am in this place, it is you who cover this horizon”. Sinuhe also prayed for a return to his ome after winning against his opponent in the single combat. He prays for God to pity him and to hearken to his prayer because he was far away. He prays for god to lead him to his homeland, Egypt.
This story was well created and as analyzed, it is of great relevance to both the western culture and the modern society.
Matthews, Platt, Thomas. The Western Humanities, 7th Edition Bullock, Ronald. The Story of Sinuhe. London: Probsthain, 1978. Print. Gardiner, Alan H. Notes on the Story of Sinuhe. Paris: Librairie Honoré Champion, 1916. Print.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 8 January 2017
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