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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/9888

Title: The virgin and the whore: a presentation of the female in nawal el saadawi’s God dies by the Nile, Two women in One and Woman at point Zero and Hisham Matar’s in the country of Men.
Authors: Amelordzi, Rita Shika
Issue Date: 17-Jan-2017
Abstract: The female has been given various representations in literature over the years. These varying portrayals have been either positive or negative, or both. Two images of the female dominate literary works; females are either represented as ‗pure‘ or ‗evil‘ (fallen woman) and recently, as both pure and evil. Thus this dissertation seeks to analyse Nawal el Saadawi and Hisham Matar‘s depiction of the virgin-whore dichotomy in their selected texts. The research focuses on discussing straightjacketing in the Maghreb Arab world and highlights the roles religion, culture and patriarchy play in maintaining the status quo between the male and the female. It also looks at what the female suffers in adhering to cultural and religious norms for femaleness and its effects on her psyche. It also discusses the lot of the female who rebels against these accepted norms. The study discusses how the virgin and whore images limit the female and result in her discontentment. Both images reduce her to a body that fulfils the roles prescribed for her under the respective class. However, the main focus of this thesis is not to solely identify female stereotypes in the chosen texts. Although the virgin-whore dichotomy in Arab literature plays an important part in this study, this study goes beyond just identifying stereotypes. It analyses the differences between male and female authors‘ portrayal of this classification. Their stand will determine the negativity or positivity with which they portray women under both classifications. This study will show that the virgin image is an idealised one that leaves women discontented while both virgin and whore images make victims of women. It will show that these images limit women and reduce them to objects and do not give them room to express themselves freely. For the purpose of this thesis, the selected texts will be analysed by applying feminist thoughts which relate to gender roles, stereotyping, culture and religion. These will help us understand the formation of gender roles and expose the role patriarchy plays in instituting sexual inequality. How the selected authors use literary devices such as realism, narrative technique, characterisation, flashback, conflict, dialogue and setting to depict the virgin-whore dichotomy in prose will also be studied. In order to holistically discuss the virgin-whore dichotomy, this research treats segregation, honour, veiling, female genital mutilation, education, marriage, motherhood, prostitution and physical and sexual abuse and their effects on the female. It then suggests ways of enhancing the socialisation process to eliminate discrimination among the sexes and promote an understanding of the sexes so that both males and females can equally participate iii in the domestic and public spheres. This will help avoid the tendency of defining the female based on what is male and cause her to be viewed as an individual.
Description: A thesis submitted to the Department of English, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in English, 2016
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/9888
Appears in Collections:College of Arts and Social Sciences

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