Much has been said about men’s sense of disillusionment, decentralization and loss caused by the great wars of the twentieth century that brought them to question inherited notions of self-identity and masculinity. Interestingly, the found literature explored the Western man’s experience and overlooked other stories, such as that of the Arab man who was similarly tormented by the war. The paper in hand seeks to argue that both the Western man and the Arab one were in search of a new self-definition in the eve of the world wars as made clear when comparing two defining short stories “The Man Who Loved Islands” by D. H. Lawrence and “The White Rose” by Hanna Mina.
Throughout this paper, I will examine the various ways via which these two war authors responded to the urgent need of asserting a new self-image and identity for post-war men. Following the findings of masculine studies that developed during the 1990s, it becomes clear that the New Man embraced a new masculine identity that reflected an awareness that a person was not born a man, but became one when abiding by the rules of patriarchy.