What Is the Impact of the Male Characters' Treatment of Women Towards a Western Female Audience?

Topics: Gender, Wife, Woman Pages: 4 (1514 words) Published: February 9, 2010
World Literature Essay SL Assignment I: Works used: Scarlet Song by Mariama Ba and The Waiting Years by Fumiko Enchi

What is the impact of the male characters' treatment of women towards a western female audience?

In the novels “Scarlet Song” by Mariama Ba and “The Waiting Years” by Fumiko Enchi we as readers are able to experience the way in which the male characters’ treat the female characters of the novel. Women in present time are able to sympathize with these women because the way in which the men treat them leaves a very strong and negative impression and ambiance. It is true that different women may have different reactions toward how the women are treated depending on their cultures; however I believe that in this day and age most women would be displeased. In this essay I will be comparing these two novels which are from two different cultures and looking at how they are similar through analyzing the attitudes of the men towards the women.

In Scarlet Song we learn that when the male characters were younger, such as the character Ousmane, they had to always obey their mother. Ousmane grew up respecting his mother, doing house chores for her and as a result he became known as a ‘mama’s boy’. To the female reader, we may find his character appreciative and respectful. However, as the book progresses, we get to know more about Ousmane and his personality. We first find out that he falls in love with a diplomat’s daughter, a girl named Mirielle who is French. Both characters backgrounds and families forbid them to be together. However, this does not stop them. They both keep their love for one another a secret from their parents. As their relationship develops and the novel progresses it is clear that Ousmane becomes more violent, aggressive and disrespectful towards Mirielle. Further along in the novel both sets of parents find out about them and do not approve. Ousmane’s mother always tended to blame everything on...

Bibliography: Bâ, Mariama. Scarlet Song. Trans. Dorothy S Blair. New York: Longman, 2006.
Enchi, Fumiko. The Waiting Years. Trans. Kodansha International Ltd. Tokyo: Kodansha International Ltd. 1971.
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