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Explore how women are presented in Veronica and King Schahriar and his brother

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Explore how women are presented in "Veronica" and "King Schahriar and his brother" "Veronica" and "King Schahriar and his brother" are short stories which focus on two very different female characters. In "King Schahriar and his brother," the strikingly beautiful and intelligent Scheherazade is a powerful, courageous woman who devises an ingenious scheme to help the girls of her kingdom escape the brutal grasp of the Sultan. "Veronica"on the other hand, focuses on a more vulnerable, unambitious female character living in a poverty and war stricken village in Africa, isolated from the outside world. Scheherazade in "King Schahriar and his brother" is portayed as being the perfect female figure. She is described as being beautiful beyond measure: "her beauty excelled that of any girl in the kingdom of Persia." This impressive statement makes her seem exotic and creates a sense of wonder in the reader as the story is set in a mythical setting where one would imagine many enchanting women and yet she is seen as the most exquisite of all. The reader is told that she has the "best masters in philosophy, medicine, history and the fine arts." Not only is she gorgeous but she is also very well educated! The use of superlatives such as "having the best" masters and being clever in the "highest" degree portray the high extent to which she has been educated and show what a powerful, dedicated and talented woman she is. ...read more.


She continually refuses Okeke's offers to leave the village and complete her education as she is concerned about leaving her family behind and also does not see it as an option. She remains loyal to them even though she is beaten by her father and left to fend for herslelf most of the time, as well as for her mother and siblings. Her care and loyalty towards them is shown in her dialogue: "I can't just leave my family." The reader might feel a sense of admiration towards Veronica here as we realise she is giving up her life in order to care for her family. Even later on in the story when her parents and siblings are gone, and she now cares for husband and child, she still refuses to accept Okeke's suggestion that she would be "better off in the city" . She has faced such hardship in the village and yet she doesn't complain or express any discomfort. She says to Okeke: "Don't be sorry for me. We are managing, and God has blessed us with a son. Is that not enough?." In this dialogue Veronica indicates how the only thing she is focused on in life is her family and she believes that her only purpose in life is to care for them. ...read more.


This emotional dialogue once again creates sympathy towards Veronica and shows her vulnerability. A sense of awe is felt towards her willingless to die and the reader may almost feel relieved at her passing, as she is finally escaping her tortured life. Scheherazade is also fearless of death. She has confidence in her plans to overthrow the Sultan, but she realises that she is taking risks and her failure may lead to her death. She is not afraid of the consequences however and is honoured to carry out her plan: "I implore you, by all the affection you bear me, to allow the honour to fall upon me." Speaking in this elevated, polite tone to her father, the reader may admire her confidence and determination to be granted the permission from her father to sacrifice herself. The fact that she is "honoured" to do this for her country again makes her seem like a true heroine. In conclusion Veronica and Scheherazade are more different than alike, but they are both two women to be admired. They both have high morals and are very loyal and caring towards their families and the people around them. The woman who I admire the most however is Veronica because of her devotion towards her family. She accepts her fate and does not consider herself unlucky to be living in such poverty-she only values the fact that she has family to care for and truly gives herself up for them. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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