The Naked Citadel

Decent Essays

Shelby Gruber
Writ 101
2 November 2012
Shadow of Oppression
As human beings, the need for power is as strong as a need for love or belonging. In The Naked Citadel by Susan Faludi the students grab this power from women or even other students. They are stripped down to nothing and the only way they see to regain this power is through dominating the opposite gender and even violently taking control of their own gender. Through Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi the male government and male figures in their lives oppress the women, and they ultimately find refuge in a literature class that break down these gender barriers. In both articles the constant search for true identity of a broken down human being forces, whether good …show more content…

Women didn’t even have the right to stand up and speak for something they believe in without getting severely punished. The very way these Iranian women dressed were a sign of the power that was being held over them. The women are dressed “in according to the law of the land, dressed in black robes and head scarves, covered except the ovals of their faces and their hands” (Nafisi 248). The nation tries to specifically degrade women to prove male dominance in an extreme way. Even though they were allowed an education, “the regime that ruled them had tried to make their personal identities and histories irrelevant. They were never free of the regime’s definition of them as Muslim women”(Nafisi 265). It is a classic example of abuse of power and how men in society use this power to dominate over the ‘lesser’ being.
The women that Nafisi teach however find a way to gain a little bit of this power back. Nafisi begins this process by letting the women take off their robes and allowing them to wear causal everyday clothing, she explains, “gradually each one gained an outline and a shape becoming her own inimitable self” (450). By stripping the women of what dominates them, she opens a world of individuality and power over oneself, allowing the women to come in touch with new aspects of their own lives. They find this power in the books that they read and discuss as well. Nafisi picked books that would specifically relate to the current situation of the women in

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