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Lecture

ENGC51H3 Lecture Notes - 3 Women, Honor Killing


Department
English
Course Code
ENGC51H3
Professor
Maria Assif

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Woman at Point Zero & Intro to Burned Alive
Analysis of 3 female characters
Firdaus, Sharifa, Mother, Ms. Iqbal
3 women: Firdaus, Sharifa, Aunt
All these women can be characterized as being either passive or active/dominant. We see that
this is actually contingent upon whether the woman is high in social class or not (whether she
has money thereby giving her power). This relationship is illustrated through Firdaus whose
passivity changes as her status/power changes.
Firdaus
she's assertive when she has money and power and less so when she does not (through her
childhood)
very passive in the beginning – molested by her uncle but she still loves him - innocence
Sharifa
Has money therefore power – dominant but she eventually becomes manipulated by Fawzy
and descends to a submissive role
Aunt
Is described as coming from a higher social class – very dominant – she eventually
persuades uncle to marry Firdaus off
Nawal Sadawi's narration of Firdaus' story – the narrative does not always seem to be objective
(Pg 3) Personal is intertwined with the scientific
This undermines her role as a researcher – it questions the objectivity of her narration and her
qualifications as a researcher
Her personal story of love - She's bringing her own personal views into the interview with
Firdaus
(Last passage on page 6)
Creating an analogy btwn her and her ex-lover and her and Firdaus
Almost as if she's in love with Firdaus
Some kind of success if she is accepted by Firdaus
Sadaawi takes on the more masculine role
The word “woman” is constantly used before the men sleep with the women
The scene where she gets a job – rather than being masculine, it's more like she's asexual – negating her
sexuality
Barbaric nature of men – highly sexualized
Seems as though Firdaus was crucified for all women
Dia = “light” - englightens her life for sometime
What is a high-end prostitute? - She knew how to please men
Recap
1) Genre
2) Gender
Gender as being at the core of this text - intertwined with culture & politics
3) Researcher vs. Woman
Nawal Sadaawi as a researcher vs. A woman
4) The Body
Body at the core of womanhood
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