Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Essay --

Taylor Sakamoto AP/IB English 3 IB Paper P.6 In the novel Woman at Point Zero the author, Nawal El Saadawi, retells the life story of Firdaus, the main character, a tragic hero who rebels against the social norms within her oppressive culture seeking the same respect and prestige that is bestowed upon her male oppressors, only to be executed for her attempt to obtain the same privileges as men. This essay will demonstrate how the aspects and expectations of Egyptian culture influence Firdaus’s decisions as she struggles to be her own woman in a society controlled by dictatorial political and patriarchal structures all while exposing the evident discontentment she has with the way Egyptian society views women, and the glorification of things that go against ideal societal structures. Firdaus’s culture shapes her to become the resilient and insubordinate woman she is when she tells Saadawi her story. She starts out having a happy childhood where her mother lovingly cared for her. She describes her mother’s eyes as undefined by color nor shape but states that her mother’s eyes â€Å"were eyes that [she] watched. They were eyes that watched [her]. Even when [she] disappeared from their view, they could see [her], and follow [her] wherever [she] went, so that if [she] faltered while learning to walk, they would hold [her] up† (page 15). This fairly intimate descriptions of eyes, demonstrates how in Egyptian culture eye contact is very important as it conveys a sense of closeness as well as power; the way Firdaus’s mother watches out for her establishes that her family was indeed close knit and played a huge role early on in her life because the eyes that seem to always be present, would guide her to conform to society’s stand ards. The des... ...n as westernization occurs. Woman at Point Zero, written by Nawal El Saadawi, effectively rebels and defies the tyrannical administrative and male-controlled structures that are meant to oppress women in Egypt. This novel does this by telling of Firdaus’s bold life, the blatant dissatisfaction with the way her culture attempts to reduce the importance of women by objectifying them to nothing more than domestic servants, and the glorification of things that go against their customary values. Through her struggles, she becomes her own woman, and ultimately dying for her belief that she is inferior to no man in the process. This discontentment and glorification are made very evident throughout this novel as she disregards the cultural standards that Egyptian society expects her to uphold; and seem to be intertwined within Firdaus’s story on almost every single page.

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