Topics: Gender, Woman / Pages: 2 (371 words) / Published: Jun 19th, 2013
Woman At Point Zero
How was your understanding of cultural and contextual considerations of the work developed through the interactive oral?

This title of this piece of literature itself tells its reader that the novel highlights the higher ideals of a woman when she is at point zero, and in Firdaus’ case, her higher ideal is to finally possess the refined emotions of mortal beings. Refined emotions, in this context, would be the freedom to articulate truth, to search for inner peace and to achieve the highest degree of freedom, and in Firdaus’ way of doing so, is to finally be liberated through her death.

The novel being set in Egypt, a location where women are oppressed at that time due to the cultural beliefs that men are the dominating gender drove Firdaus to seek helplessly for the worth of her identity as a woman. As she seeks for self-worth, her psychological state of mind gradually evolved with every man that she had encountered, until she had an epiphany and realized that in the society surrounding her, money can buy honour and respect. Through plot manipulation by Saadawi, the aforementioned leads to Firdaus’ struggle in external conflicts with men as she learnt to reject them.

To amplify the gender inequality in the novel, and the oppression towards women, Saadawi used stylistic devices like irony to depict the value of women in that society; that is, a women is freer as a prostitute than a wife because a prostitute, bounded by the fact that she has to sell her body but yet, she could do so with a price, and therefore, still freer as a woman than being a wife. Also, Saadawi has implanted the extended metaphor of Marzouk’s murder as a symbol to the ‘real crime’ in a bigger picture, exposing the innermost fear of every men, whom are perpetually trying to helplessly uphold their power and authority.

However, if the cultural setting of the novel were in the culture now in the 21st century with the equality of both genders being emphasized,

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