Dervishes has to be an ironic title. While the 12-year old protagonist, Canada, later remembers having seen dervishes, describing them as isolated figures spinning endlessly in place, drawing a parallel between the lives of the novel’s two main characters and this religious Sufi Muslim practice is totally inaccurate. Superficially, it may look the same: a shallow and self-absorbed mother and her neglected daughter go in circles, ever faster, and getting nowhere. Dervishes, however, spin to achieve religious ecstasy. Moreover, Wikipedia points out that dervishes as known for their extreme poverty and austerity, and are indifferent to material possessions. They are also known as being a source of wisdom, poetry, enlightenment and so on. This bears no relation to the novel’s females.
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