Development of the Main Protagonist in Woman at Point Zero

Topics: Woman, Life, Girl Pages: 2 (479 words) Published: April 2, 2013
To what extent does the author show the development of the character of firdaus throughout the novella 'woman at point zero'?

Woman at point zero is a novella written by feminism activist Nawal El Saadawi. It focuses on the life of an Egyptian woman, Firdaus. She is throughout the book oppresses by life, society and most of all, men. As she grows as a character we see how Firdaus' views on life and her own view of herself develops, turning her into the hollow shell of a woman she is at the end of the narrative. In this text, the main staged of the protagonists life will be explored, her pride in herself, her embarrassment of being who she is and her indifference of life itself.

Firdaus states that she has always been 'searching for something that would fill her with pride'. This search for pride had been to some extent fulfilled in the form of a motif used by the author, her 'secondary school certificate'. This is a recurring motif throughout the novella repeated by the protagonist many times. This shows her sense of pride about it. And although mocked by her uncles wife, 'it's not easy to find work when all you have is a secondary school certificate', she still feels 'filles with pride' – the use of this metaphor shows her hollowness and lack of identity – and how pride could've given her the sense of identity. Her lack of identity is specifically shown through the word 'filled'. And this shows us that she feels more human with her educational achievements.

Later on, firdaus finds herself working as a prostitute. She is reluctant to take on the profession at first as she 'cannot ask for anything from a man'. This shows a clear embarrassment of her female identity. 'I had changed' – firdaus was no longer a proud young girl, but an embarressed young woman. She compares herself to 'the nile, and the sky, and the trees' the use of this imagery and comparison is to show her embarrassment of her own identitiy and her desire to be someone else.specifically the...
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