Woman At Point Zero By Nawal El Saadawi

1416 Words6 Pages
Nawal El Saadawi’s novel, Woman at Point Zero, can be considered to be a rebellion against authoritarian political and patriarchal structures because it tells of Firdaus’ life story in way that shows an obvious discontent with the way society views women and the way it glorifies aspects that go again societal norms. Saadawi places a large emphasis on the descriptions of eyes in the novel to express Firdaus’ feelings towards certain characters. Firdaus starts out having a happy childhood, when she is cared for and loved by her mother. She describes her mother’s eyes in this way, “They were eyes that I watched. They were eyes that watched me. Even when I disappeared from their view, they could see me, and follow me wherever I went, so that…show more content…
They were not the eyes that held me up each time I was at the point of falling”. This drastic shift in her description signifies the change in emotions that Firdaus feels for her mother, just like how her feelings for her teacher and Ibrahim are eventually altered as well. The manner in which Firdaus describes traumatic events that occur within her childhood serves as a form of rebellion against the society in which she grew up. One event that drastically changes Firdaus’ life is her clitoridectomy. This surgery is performed when she is a child and without her consent. It causes her to lose feelings of sexual pleasure as evidenced by “I closed my eyes and tried to reach the pleasure I had known before but in vain. It was as if I could no longer recall the exact spot from which it used to arise, or as though a part of me, of my being, was gone and would never return”. This affects her for the rest of her life, and later, when she first becomes a prostitute, she voices her opinion that she is dissatisfied with feeling nothing during intercourse “But I want to feel, Sharifa… Is there no pleasure to be had, even the slightest pleasure?” Her right to sexual pleasure was ripped away from her, just as her innocence was torn away from her when she was sexually abused by her uncle “I would glimpse my
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