Woman At Point Zero By Nawal El Saadawi

997 WordsJan 13, 20154 Pages
Nawal El Saadawi’s eye opening novel “Woman at Point Zero” exposes the gender inequality, male violence and domination over females occurring in Egypt. Through the character Firdaus, we learn that humans feel obligated to pursue personal desires, but all humans are social primates who feel the need to integrate within a society and eventually conform to society’s expectations. In Egypt it is common for men to possess control over women and they conform to the expectations of society because they fear the outcome if they were to oppose. Through characterization and the brilliant incorporation of symbols, Saadawi demonstrates that Firdaus initially chooses to conform to societal expectations with fear being a prime factor but ultimately submerges her fear allowing her courage to emerge. The courage to stand up for herself and the females as a whole against the men but her choice leads to her imprisonment and being placed on death row. Shockingly, she does not fear death as “[she] prefers to die for crime [she] has committed” and this is her final rejection of conforming to the never ending expectations of society. Through Firdaus’s initial characterization, it is evident that she and many other women are treated as objects which serve only to sexually pleasure the men while the women are “emptied of all desire or pleasure” and “feel nothing.” They cannot oppose the men because their “heart[s] beat with fear”, a prime factor in subduing them from taking action. The abuse
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