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The Body, The Tool - In the novels, "Woman at Point Zero" by Nawal El Saadawi and "Three Sisters" by Anton Checkhov

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Introduction

The Body, The Tool In the novels, "Woman at Point Zero" by Nawal El Saadawi and "Three Sisters" by Anton Checkhov, the body is used as a tool to achieve certain goals for the characters of Firdaus and Natasha. Firdaus, a young girl who grows up in a world that is ruled by men, must use her body as a means of survival, leading her to prostitution. Where as Natasha uses her body to work her way up the social ladder of aristocratic life in pre-Revolutionary Russia. In "Woman at Point Zero", Firdaus has to use her body as means of survival. She is brought up in a society that is dominated by the male gender, and is used repeatedly by "them" (the male population) until she gets her revenge. Her revenge comes in the murder of a pimp, who like all the men in this novel want to have control over her. Firdaus' problems begin at an early age, with her father. Her father is described as a cold heartless man, only content when his stomach is full and when his wife slaves for him. Firdaus, being very young and growing up in a poor family, does not speak out against her father, yet she notices the mistreatment her mother endures whilst her father doesn't work too much yet manages to eat and sleep well. ...read more.

Middle

At first we find Natasha to be timid, unfashionable, and obviously from a lower class when compared to the Serghyeevna family and their "old friends". Natasha manages to have Andrey fall in love with her and furthermore marry her. Well as it turns out, we find Andrey to be less and less happy as the play furthers itself. This marriage to Natasha has caused a great many things to change around the house. Natasha now feels that she has some sort of ownership towards the property and its inhabitants. At the beginning of Act 2, we already find Natasha dictating to Andrey what must be done around the house, and not really paying any attention towards his input. Andrey's reaction to his newly wed wife is shown somewhat through his dialogues with Ferapont. He tells Ferapont that eventhough he has a free day tomorrow, he wants to spend it at the office. He is "so bored at home!" He later continues by saying that he must talk to someone "but my wife doesn't seem to understand me, and as for my sisters... I'm afraid of them..." Andrey is married and has friends all around him, yet he is alone, because either nobody understands him or cares to listen. ...read more.

Conclusion

This ordeal continues through the duration of the play. Through this play, Natasha manages to start with very little and end up being the true victor. She starts off as truly middle-class and ends up messing around with the local board's chairman. Her use of her body to climb the social ladder proves to be quite effective, yet dishonorable. Andrey only now, truly knows what Natasha is, he calls her "an animal" and goes even as far as to say that he does not love her anymore. Their relationship deteriorates through the course of the play. Andrey gives us the audience a glimpse into his true feelings about his marriage in the line, "The wives deceive their husbands, and the husbands lie to their wives, and pretend they don't see anything and don't hear anything..." In this line, this single line, we see the torture that Andrey has to endure, all because he married the wrong woman. A woman who manipulates and uses her body to better herself and not concern herself with the problems of others. Although, we find both of these women to be in fairly dishonorable positions, our pity lies with Firdaus. Firdaus never truly used people that cared for her and that's what makes her the better of the two. Natasha's neglect of Andrey is inexcusable. Natasha can easily be called a calculated, cold hearted bitch. ...read more.

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