Women and patriarchy: A case study of Firdaus in the works of Nawal el Saadawi. woman at point zero
Dede, Janet A
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This study sets out to examine women and patriarchy: a case study of Firdaus as reflected in Nawal El Saadawi's novel Woman at Point Zero. The study is guided by three literary theories; the sociological literary approach, the feminist theory and stylistic theory. Proceeding from these literary perspectives, the study seeks to analyze the struggles of a heroine character under patriarchal society. The study is guided by two objectives; one to examine Firdaus struggles in a patriarchal society. A second one is to analyze the stylistic devices used in the novel. The study sees a gap in the literary field where Nawal's work Woman at Point Zero has received very little attention in regard to women issues. In an endeavour to fill this gap, the study aspires to make a faithful representation of the heroine. The guiding hypotheses of the study are; portrayal of Firdaus struggles in a patriarchal society impacts greatly on her character, the second premise is that there is a deliberate effort by the author to make her female characters both visible and audible. Lastly, the use of stylistic choices that the author makes is a key to the understanding of the characters presented. The study has mainly depended on close reading of the novel Woman at Point Zero, library research and internet. Lastly, the study shows that patriarchy destroys women of all social classes. Firdaus's life, in marriage, streets or even in business does not protect her from the destruction by the system. As a poor girl she is married off to an old man, thus cutting short her education. As a young woman she is subjected to biased violence and escapes to the street as a prostitute. However, changing her social-economic status does not protect her.