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ENGC51H3 (30)

Woman at Point Zero & Burned Alive Part I

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Maria Assif

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
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