• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Women at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi and Outsider by Albert Camus both present protagonists who refuse to conform to societys expectations.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Hi Jensen You use the wrong word, confirm, rather than conform, which is what I think you mean. Please fix. Some other confusing points are made - in what ways is Mersault's liberation ironic? Your explanation does not answer this. I think that your point that overcoming his fear is the main point is incorrect. I think he is just now convinced that his way of seeing the world is right and that the others have got it wrong. His execution vindicates his philosophy. I am also not sure what you mean by Firdaus's mental freedom - better to say that she overcomes her fear of men. Also why do you talk about hegemonies (plural) in Egyptian society? What groups of people are you referring to? However, the biggest problem with your opening paragraph is that you have not answered the question "To what extent...". I have no clear sense of a line of argument here. Para 2 - Rethink your statements that Mersault advocates existentialism and FIrdaus advocates femininsm. These statements are too broad and not entirely true. Both come to a realisation about life and I think it is more important to outline what these realisations are, than to talk about advocacy. ...read more.

Middle

At first, the plight of both protagonists are not yet in conflict with the human conventions of the respective societies. Meursault's first words establish his lack of concern with social conventions: "Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know." Meursault is in complete control of his own life, compelled by simple bodily pleasures: the warm sea, the colour of the sky, his girlfriends body "The water was warm and rippled with long, lazy waves."(p.37), "The sky was green and I felt happy."(p.30), "You could see the shape of her firm breasts..." (p.37) Meanwhile, Firdaus's childhood life was one of sexual harassment by her uncle and rejection by her parents. At this point, the protagonists are coming from two very different circumstances: Meursault is free, while Firdaus is trapped. Later on, both protagonist make life changing decisions that are completely the opposite from what they were in the beginning. Meursault kills an Arab and loses his physical freedom through incarceration. The freedom Mersault esteems above all else has been taken from him, thus he is unable to carry out his principals of life. Firdaus becomes a prostitute and frees herself from her physical identity. She takes possession of the body that had been the source of torment, and turns it into a source of profit. ...read more.

Conclusion

In "Women at Point Zero", Firdaus finishes her story with "I spit with ease on their lying faces and words, on their lying newspaper" and shows her execution was a result of her negative reaction, which had not been expected by the male authorities, when she was given a chance to be released. Both protagonists believed that choosing their own death was the ultimate weapon against the corrupt social hegemony; Just as Firdaus chose to use her body to make money, instead of having it imposed on her by sinister creeps, she also chose her own death, rather than a life dictated by hegemonic powers. Meursault maintained his philosophy of freedom to the very end, freely choosing death, instead of a life amongst people with tyrannical demands. By denying an appeal they have liberated themselves a life that never promised free will. To conclude, we can see that both protagonists have successfully overcome the corruption of social hegemonies, however it is apparent in the two novels that the path to their liberation was completely different and that the motivating principles behind their actions were very different. Yet, despite these fundamental differences, everyone can agreed that their refusal to betray their own integrity had ultimately cost them their lives. To what extent do the actions of Meursault and Firdaus liberate them from the corruption of social hegemonies in "The Outsider" by Albert Camus and "Women at Point Zero" by Nawal El Saadawi? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Woman at Point Zero by Nawal el Saadawi and Like Water for Chocolate by ...

    "The house became a battlefield. Slammed doors were the order of the day". This emphasises the anger that was circling the house. Gustatory imagery is a key aspect to both novels and supports both authors in successfully portraying the oppression of women. In Saadawi's novel food represents the inequality of gender; apparent through the fact that women are always being left to eat the scraps.

  2. World literature - the outsider

    The description of how the streets had become deserted during day shows how people do not value the day light, yet wish to create light during the night. The street lamps are the mechanism of control, humans have attempted to control the night sky that should be dark, by creating their own lights.

  1. In Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and The Stranger, by Albert Camus, protagonists ...

    He is an indefinite character, in that he wishes to confess his crime and be relieved of it, yet he does not want to face the punishment.

  2. Both Albert Camus The Stranger and Herman Melvilles Bartleby the Scrivener convey the idea ...

    Bartleby's phrase is not a straight denial to do a task; it is simply a hard statement to respond to. Bartleby begins to passively refuse things more and more often. As time goes by, he realizes that doing these daily things is insignificant and meaningless.

  1. Women At Point Zero Commentary

    Even as she boasts about her achievement of being a successful prostitute you can see that it was a pointless career because all she had for the men that she attended was hatred. This shows the reader that it seemed so that she never had a good male role model in her life.

  2. To what extent can society be blamed for the isolation in the lives ...

    To the contrary, sometimes, some people go through an awakening and realization that life is purposeless. At extreme circumstances like his own mother?s death, Mersault is expected to react with awe and grief, but he remains unaffected by it. On his professional front, when he is offered a job in

  1. Moods, colors and people of the deep blue sea are portrayed in The Sound ...

    ?Poseidon gave, to sail the deep blue sea like white wings in the sky,or a flashing thought.?(l.39,b.VII) 129. ?At this the grey-eyed goddess Athena left him and left that comely land,going over sea?(l.82,b.VII) 130. ?Odysseus, who had borne the barren sea, stood in the gateway and surveyed this bounty?(l.143,b.VII)

  2. The Stranger, Albert Camuss first novel, is a brilliantly crafted story and a portrayal ...

    Much of the novel consists of the collection and occurrence of thoughts and ideas in the mind of Meursault. And so, it can be said that Meursault is distant from set plans, ambitions, desires, love, and emotions in general as seen in the line ?that evening Marie came by to

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work