The American Hero Redeemed in Frances Khirallah Noble's The New Belly Dancer of the Galaxy

Main Article Content

Ibis Gómez-Vega


The American hero made his literary debut as a rugged individual who exhibited courage, decency, common courtesy to others, but the antihero who lacked most basic values soon stole the stage. Although some consider Kahlil Gibran Hourani, the main character in Nobel's novel, an antihero, I argue that Kahlil, a Syrian American man who is abused by men who consider him a terrorist, suffers through the abuse perpetrated against him and emerges from his ordeal with his values intact. After escaping his captors, he embarks on a journey home to his wife, resigned to face her ire; however, during this journey, he finds the courage to stand up for the rights of others, as he does when he helps the illegal aliens being abused by their handler, and he is also still capable of treating other people with courtesy, as he does when he encounters the homeless woman in the Laundromat. Kahlil exhibits courage, empathy, simple human decency, the qualities that define a hero. He is the American hero, redeemed, no longer an antihero.

Article Details

How to Cite
Gómez-Vega, I. (2020). The American Hero Redeemed in Frances Khirallah Noble’s The New Belly Dancer of the Galaxy. Humanities Bulletin, 3(1), 128–146. Retrieved from