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The Answer Is No Essay

1150 words - 5 pages

The Answer Is No From centuries to centuries the role of women has been predominantly subordinate to the role of men. Men have been known to be superior in both physical and mental levels. They are also most likely to have an "upper hand" in situations based on their gender. An example of such situation is taken place in "The Answer Is No", written by Naguib Mahfouz. This story has a considerable amount of sexual politics. On one side you have a women who is powerless and feels trapped because of her position. Yet on the other hand her weakness becomes her strength, which leads her to her "happiness." The feminism in the story is implicit. The main character is a woman who has suffered through a sexual encounter that has scarred her for life. More so, she feels that she has nowhere to go and is forced to be silent in her own misery. Badran Badwi, is the man who takes advantage of the girls innocence and nobility. He not only inflicts harm on her, but knowing that she is vulnerable he continues to terrorize her and comes back into her life without having any sense of remorse for doing what he did. "The Answer Is No" demonstrates the consequences that a woman has to suffer due to a man's ego and dominative character trait. It also represents woman as being week and vulnerable in the eyes of a man. Essentially one cannot argue that it is impossible to imagine reversing the male-female roles in this story. This story for the most part does not challenge the traditional ideas about women. The woman in the story is automatically portrayed to be a scared submissive girl. She is scared to face reality. For example when she was about to shake hands with her perpetrator, "she advanced with her eyes fixed on his chest. Avoiding his gaze, she stretched out her hand." That indicates that she cannot face her fear and Badran still has a sense of control over her. The mother is also portrayed to be traditional women with old-fashioned ideas. She doesn't speak her mind, and doesn't even show any type of objection to what happened to her daughter. She as well feels like there's nothing left to do but for her daughter to marry him. When the girl told her mother about what happened, she was "taken aback by the forwardness"¦" of his nature. So instead of encouraging her daughter not to be afraid she simply just tells her that it's her choice. It is as if the mother is ashamed and disappointed at her daughter even though it wasn't her fault. This sort of thinking is common in society. Even though the man is at fault the woman is looked down upon because she is considered to be "un-pure." In contrast there is a traditional idea about women that was challenged in the story. Despite what has happened to the girl she insist on not getting married. And for a woman to be of old age and still not be married is also looked down upon. For then she is considered to be an "old maid" who no guy...

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