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World literature assignment

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TWorld Literature Assignment Subject: English A HL Date: September 16, 2009 Word Count: Women of Power A major effect of Western Colonialism all over the world was the role of women changing. Women started to stand up for their rights. More and more women wanted to get jobs, make money, have voting rights, and stand up to the more dominant figures. The two 'books I have read are 'Midaq Alley' by Naguib Mahfouz and 'This Earth of Mankind' by Pramoedya Ananta Toer. Both of these books have one major similarity; Western Colonialism. As that is too vast a topic, this essay if focused on the main female characters of both these books and their desire for power and authority. I will be discussing how the two main women of these books have different perspectives of having authority and how they achieve it. Midaq Alley is about the residents of one alley in Cairo, Egypt. It is a very descriptive novel and each chapter is concise. ...read more.


She is completely different. She has been polished and groomed in such a way that it is hard to decide whether she is a native or a European. She speaks perfect Dutch, has an unlimited knowledge of so many things, reads books, and looks impeccable. When Minke, the protagonist, first meets her he is in awe. He immediately realizes how different she is and starts respecting her. Nyai is in charge of the family business and most importantly, she commands her own master, Herman Mellema. Nyai is someone who has worked hard for her power and authority. She is someone who never had a formal education; she has read books and learnt how to be the way she is. By teaching herself Nyai has power, money, authority, and luxury. Nyai, is not proud of who she is. She refuses to be called 'madam' because she knows that is not who is. Nyai knows her place in society and does not want anymore 'respect' that she feels she deserves. ...read more.


Hamida does not want to lift a finger in order to get what she wants; she thinks it will come automatically because she is so beautiful and so impressive. Being satisfied with or without authority isn't the only important factor about these main characters. There is also the fact that the sources of this power and wealth are different for both of them. For example, Hamida was determined to be affluent and dominating she intended to do so by marrying a rich man. She was dependant on her fate to get married to someone just because she thought she was so pretty and perfect. Hamida did not have much to offer. She was not very smart nor did she have a very strong personality. Her only way out of Midaq Alley would have been getting married. In contrast, Nyai in the beginning also did not have much to offer. But she taught herself, her power and wealth came because she made herself into this strong woman who could face anything. ...read more.

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