Representation of Women and Femininity in She and Arabian Nights

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She written by H Rider Haggard is a novel about two men, Holly and his adoptive son, Leo set out to search for a mysterious queen, Ayesha who killed her lover, Kallikrates. After finding the queen, both of them hopelessly fall in love with her and remain in her control not until she dies. Her beauty is legendary that no man can look up upon her and keep his own will. Arabian Nights is a collection of Arabic short story told by a woman, Shahrazad who willingly to marry her lustful King. The King marries a virgin woman every night and kills them the next day because he is once being cheated by his late wife but not until he is married to Shahrazad. Her generous nature to save other women in the kingdom that motivates her to the marriage.…show more content…
The similarity between them is they are the causes of the male character’s downfall. In She, Ayesha is a threatening figure that harms male bonds which is between Holly and Leo. Both of them cannot resist Ayesha’s charms. Holly admits that Leo would be his rival. Their brotherly bond in She is broken as they are competing with one another to get Ayesha and they forget about their friend relationships. Holly leaves Leo to spend time with Ayesha when Leo has a fever. After he recovers from her spell, he finds Leo and said “[h]ow I cursed my selfishness and the folly that had kept me lingering by Ayesha’s side while my dear boy lay dying! Alas and alas! How easily the best of us are lighted down to evil by [women]” (185). This shows that a woman can become the causes for men to have a fight because they are competing to win the female. However, in Arabian Nights, Shahrazad who is a slave but become a hero at the end of the story as she managed to win the heart of her husband. Shahrazad is brave enough to offer herself to get married with the Sultan even she knows she might be killed after the marriage as her father, a vizier who is in charge of finding a new wife for the Sultan has told her earlier. Shahrazad explains to her father about the marriage that “I may either succeed in saving people or perish and die like the rest” (43). This shows that even her father could not stop her from

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