Scheherazade

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1)Compare and contrast the personality of Schehrezde as a legend with that of “the lady with the feather dress” as portrayed by Mernissi’s grandmother.

Scheherazade is a legend because of her ways of persuasion that she has with people. The art she mastered was one that not many possess. She can express herself like no other, every word, every sentence was perfect to persuade and get what she wanted.

“The Lady in the Feather Dress”, however, was a lady of such beauty that she was bound to her husband who hid her feather dress from her. The story of “The Lady in the Feather Dress” teaches readers that even if a woman is loved, she should be ready to move on at all times. This is because “love can engulf you and become a prison”(p4).

The legend of Scheherazade used words to woo her way through life. She persuaded the King, one of the most influential people of her time, into doing almost anything she wanted. Scheherazade used her knowledge and skill to get what she wanted while the lady in the feather dress used her beauty. One thing these both characters did share in common was that they were both influential. Men, and many other people were afraid of their power that they used, the power of persuasion. This persuasion made people what they would do out of the ordinary.

2) Why Mernissi feels that the Westerners misunderstand her culture? Give examples of Western journalists, literature, art, etc.

Mernissi feels that Westerners misunderstand her culture because of the image that the media gives. Westerners put an excessive amount of trust in the media. Therefore, if a Westerner sees something on the television or the Internet they are most likely going to believe what they read. “The Westerners also referred primarily to the pictorial images of harems, such as those seen in paintings or films, while I visualized actual places-harems built of high walls and real stones by powerful men” (p14), this excerpt shows readers how westerners are...
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