Women have more power than men in the novel. Do you agree?

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Hisham Matar’s Novel, In the Country of Men, illustrates women in “a world full of men and the greed of men” and living in a patriarchal society their role, is one of being submissive to men. Women are not given equal privileges and entitlement. The reader sees this through the nine year old narrator Suleiman and how he views the world around him. However, Matar’s novel contains various surprising examples of feminine power. At that time the Libyan regime is under male power with absolute control by the dictator The Guide, Colonel Quaddfi. Under the regime of the Guide, it is evident that women, such as Najwa, feel powerless with the final decision making outside of the household duties, being in the hands of men. Suleiman’s narration of the novel allows the reader to see that Libya is a male dominant society where women were not allowed to be educated, work or given any sort of authority and freedom outside the home. Women do have power within the home particularly with the children and family. The reader discovers some feminine power in Najwa which is illustrated in her parenting of Suleiman. When she feels guilt for her drinking bouts she takes him on a drive to their favourite café and insists on buying treats for him. When her husband is away on business, Najwa has the freedom to drive a car and make decisions about the family’s nutrition and health. Even though drinking of alcohol is forbidden in Libya, Najwa has the confidence and power to buy it illegally. She concerns herself about Suleiman particularly with food. She is in charge of the daily running of the household and demonstrates her skill ably. Therefore this shows that Najwa does in fact have more power than all the men in the novel. [according to the topic sen... ... middle of paper ... ...rture of the Revolution Committee. This is certainly a turning point in Najwa’s behaviour until this point we view her as a mostly obedient and dutiful wife and mother. Najwa’s bravery gave her the power to approach her once unfriendly neighbour and Faraj is released from the ruthless hands of the Guide. This episode in the text shows there is still some power women have in such a male dominated. It’s just a matter of having the courage to stand up to what you are. Throughout the novel In the Country of Men, by Hisham Matar demonstrates that the society depicted in the text is seen to be ruled my men. These powers are retained by no women in the text, as women aren’t even considered to be human to be given any powers in the eyes of the ‘sun’. Men and women to live in a totalitarian society they both need to be treated equally and have the same power over each other.
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