Analysis Of Nawal El Saadawi 's Woman At Point Zero Essay

Analysis Of Nawal El Saadawi 's Woman At Point Zero Essay

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Nawal El Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero is a novel that takes place near Cairo, Egypt and is mostly written in the point of view of a girl named Firdaus. Growing up, Firdaus was physically and emotionally abused by her father and occasionally her mother as well. As she got older, she began to be sexually abused by her uncle along with many other men she would be introduced to throughout the story. However, these forms of abuse are not subjective to Firdaus. Quite a few women are introduced in this text and almost every single one of them mentions or hints that they’ve experienced abuse as well. Early in the novel, Firdaus reflects on her childhood and the relationship between her mother and father: “...he would beat my mother, then have his supper and lie down to sleep” (18). Her mother, along with the other women in the book, never complained or tried to fight back, which shows the audience how passive and obedient women were expected to be towards men. Nawal El Saadawi’s tragic yet accurate representation of women in this culture educates the audience about gender inequality in Egypt and what dangers it poses to their society.
El Saadawi’s representation of women as unimportant, silenced, and passive is shown through various characters throughout the novel. While a lot of these traits are shown through Firdaus in the beginning of the book, the author uses other female characters as well to illustrate these characteristics more vividly. The number of male characters in Woman at Point Zero largely outweighs the number of females, allowing the audience to sense, rather than read directly from the text, that women in this culture are silenced and of much less importance than men. Although Firdaus’ uncle’s wife was not a main characte...


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.... By depicting sexual, physical, and emotional abuse towards women, El Saadawi is able to accurately represent the destructive outcome of gender roles and injustice.
In Nawal El Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero, women are represented as submissive, powerless, and silenced. Although the novel is written almost entirely in Firdaus’ point of view, El Saadawi uses the experiences of multiple women to illustrate these characteristics. Whether it’s Sharifa getting raped by Fawzy or Firdaus’ uncle’s wife getting beaten, there are too many instances of abuse against women to count. This heartbreaking representation of women is used to expose gender inequality in Egypt and present a cold reality to the audience. By means of highlighting sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, El Saadawi achieves her goal of educating readers on the dangers of oppression and violence towards women.

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