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World Lit I, Firdaus vs. Laye, Influence of Society

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International Baccalaureate A comparison of the importance and influence of religion and culture in Firdaus's life from Women at Point Zero and that of Camara Laye's from The Dark Child. World Literature Paper I Name: Sagar Sood Candidate number: 000212-016 Word Count: 1,378 Subject: IB English A1 HL School: International Community School of Addis Ababa What would one be without a religion? How different would he/she be from the rest? Religion and culture are both vital ingredients in one's life. Even though they don't relate to one's personal life directly, but act as the identity of a person. This can be observed in the two novels, The Dark Child by Camara Laye and Women at Point Zero by Nawaal El-Saadawi. In both the novels, the protagonists are directly and indirectly related, and bound to their common religion, Islam. Firdaus, a prostitute living in Egypt and Laye living in a village in French Guinea, sharing us his life, are both affected by their religion. Laye is more bound to his culture and shows respect to his society and religion, whereas Firdaus does not care about her religion even though she is directly influenced by the rules of her society. Laye, the author himself describes about his religion and its tradition in great detail in his novel. ...read more.


This shows that how a ritual has a direct impact on one's thinking and the life style. Laye without a doubt accepts the process and respects the tradition. On the completely different side, Firdaus is actually an outcast to her society. She has the complete opposite characteristics than Laye. She is the kind, who lives differently, thinks differently and acts differently. She is a high class prostitute, but in the society, a prostitute has more of a low class position. She is the kind who can be put in the "use and throw" category. Being an outcast, she is detached from the world around her. She thinks and asks questions that no one even tries to do so in an Islamic society. Being a woman, she tries to emerge as a fighting figure, even though women are not given the same respect and rights in her society. In other words, she tries to ignore the rules of her religion and acts against it. She does what she think is right and not what her religions says so, even though her life is indirectly effected by her religion. All her life, whether her childhood or as a prostitute, she wasn't treated equally. Beatings were scheduled in her daily life. ...read more.


Reading books actually made it worse. She read about the historical cruel men who desired only power. Hence she got deeper into solving problems, which later got her into depression. This also cost her her life. Religion and culture are connected to man's life and his faith. They play a vital role in one's life by nurturing them and are the identity of a person. Without it one is like a flower without its petals. It's the petals that bring in the prettiness in a flower and make the flower different from the others. Similarly, it's the religion and culture that makes one's life beautiful and different from the others. If he/she chooses, they can make there life better and more joyous by accepting and showing eagerness towards their religion. It can be seen how it played on the side in Laye's life and not in that of Firdaus'. Firdaus chose to ignore and overlook her religion and acted the way she thought was right, but this path gave her serious consequences, that cost her her life. On the complete different zone, Laye was always eager to learn about his religion and participate in the traditions. He showed great respect and had a positive attitude towards his religion. It was because of this, that Laye was a successful man in his life. ...read more.

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