Sardines and Oranges: the Red Spot and Life on the Edge Comparison

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An ideal society is one where people are all equal and free; however there are many societies where inequality exists. This is evident in the stories ‘The red spot’ by Rabia Raihane and ‘Life on the Edge’ by Rachida El-Charni from the collection of short stories titled Sardines and Oranges. These stories are set in post-colonial North Africa in Morocco and Tunisia respectively to intended read by the members of the authors’ society. In the red spot, the protagonist is forced to marry a distant relative by the choice of her mother. During the story, the author’s opinions of oppression and lack of freedom is revealed. In contrast to Life on the edge, the father punishes his family members for losing his sheep and how the mother gives birth to a child boy with only her children’s assistance. The author manipulates symbolism, actions and choice of diction to illustrate the oppression and the role of women, demonstrating the inequality within the North African society. In the story the Red Spot, the narrator and protagonist of the story was described to have her ‘Head bowed, and looking at my feet, carrying out my mother’s commands’. The action of looking at her feet represents that she is not able to look into people eyes which represents obedience because looking at people directly is a sign of challenge in many societies including Morocco. The act of having your ‘head bowed’, is an act performed to a superior such as a ruler, thus creating the theme of inequality within the story. Raihane portrays the narrator’s mother to be superior through the choice of the word ‘command’, revealing the actions of the narrator is controlled her mother. Commanding is also an act performed by a superior, revealing the idea of an unequal society. Raihane describes the narrator’s ‘Afternoon play means for me to change in to a free bird’. The imagery of the bird represents the freedom the girl has because a bird is able to fly without constraint in the vast sky. When she starts...
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