Woman at Point Zero by Nawal el Saadawi and Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Compare the ways in which the writers have used narrative point of view to develop their works.

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 “Compare the ways in which the writers have used narrative point of view to develop their works.”

In both Woman at Point Zero by Nawal el Saadawi and Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, the narrative point of view is used to inform the reader of the political and socio-cultural context of the situation in which the protagonists find themselves. The narrative voice supports the way we react to certain issues within the texts. Narrative point of view is communicated to the reader in a variety of ways; including authorial intrusion, use of imagery and the way the narrator selects the anecdotes, themes and settings. Esquivel’s narrator is the great- niece of the protagonist, and el Saadawi’s narrator is herself, the psychiatrist who tells the story of Firdaus embedded in her story. In both instances one would expect the narrator to be biased towards the protagonists because of their special relationship with the protagonists.

Both writers successfully portray the traditional oppression of women through their imagery and hyperbole. A few of the obvious forms of imagery used are: gustatory imagery, thermal imagery and visual imagery. In Saadawi’s work the oppression is embedded within the Islamic traditions as well as the lack of gender equality. In Esquivel’s work there is an obvious lack of gender equality, however the aspect of traditional oppression that most affects Tita, is the burden of family tradition.

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In Saadawi’s novel, hyperbole is used to accentuate the inequality, which the Egyptian women face. Through this hyperbole el Saadawi is able to communicate the harshness of society to the reader. (example of hyperbole here) In Esquivel’s work, hyperbole is used to emphasise the point and capture the reader’s attention. “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; ...

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