Shahrnush Parsipur’s Women Without Men: A Review and Critique Essay

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Womans Without Men is a book with a counterintuitive rubric. It defies the civilization and cultural consciousness of the land of its creative activity. While books should ne’er be judged for their rubrics entirely. this one dares challenges and informs all at one time and can non be overlooked. Shahrnush Parsipur is a female writer who comes from Iran. This excessively is a critical piece of cognition before the book is even opened. Those facts set the tone for critical reading by the audience and prepares for them to set about their reading with serious context.

This will non be a merriment book the bio is saying. And fun it is non. Its narrative is one of impotence and torment. Briefly the book relates the narrative of five adult females and the different picks they must set about in their lives. The turn is that vibrating over them and informing and curtailing their determinations is the Persian cultural system with its rigorous spiritual regulations sing the topographic point of adult females in society. What is dry is that the five adult females finally can non avoid each other. That is the point of the book. its subject.

From Farrokhlagha the rich adult female to Zarrinkolah the cocotte each will happen that there is a point in which they are all merely cocottes who must sell their freedom. symbolically represented in Women Without Men as virginity. to any signifier of adult male. In the terminal somehow the adult females overcome their caste and accomplish their dreams – but merely by get awaying the ‘sameness’ of Persian adult females civilization. This paradox is the tool that expresses the subject. The challenge is responding to the book in a personal mode that still makes sense of that civilization. My reading of this trouble began on the really first page.

There is some clear premonition that one sees. “This [ the conflict of contemplation and pool ] ever troubled Madokht. for she could non digest any conflict” ( 1 ) . I felt that this must be cultural and representative of the difference between America and Iran. If this simple conflict of nature troubled Madokht it is likely declarative of the conflict of nature between adult females and work forces. I saw a life of trouble for her. Time and once more this came true as the writer dealt with the adult females individually. This was a great manner to show the norms and assist me see the differences in the novel. The societal looks and restraints truly stood out.

It is non wholly unexpected in America that adult females would ‘wall themselves off’ from work forces in their personal interactions. There are unfortunately plentifulness of pigeonholing and platitudes that speak to that. carnival or non. However there doesn’t demand to be despair within those times. Womans Without Men possessed that societal despair. Where the adult females had each other to trust on. as exemplified by them all stoping up at Farrokhlagha’s estate. they besides couldn’t stand each other. They could non get away the societal restraints and force per unit areas of what it means to be a adult female. A perfect narrative from page 101 describes this.

“Farrokhlagha didn’t work. She spent the full autumn walking about and giving orders. ” Why would this be? That struck me as the difference of economic system working with the difference of basic cultural norms as compared to the American experience. The adult females merely could non acquire rid of the load that had been placed upon them. The lone thing that they had to keep onto was their economic differences. One was rich. Two were cocottes. Two were in-between category. Because of their deficiency of gender individuality as a positive they learned to at least keep onto the tenuous place of their money. That became who they were and they lorded it over the others even inside the garden.

I find that here in America adult females tend to authorise each other when assemblage and can get the better of these economic differences ; in Iran where that is all they have they merely can’t Lashkar-e-Taiba travel. That extended to the political kingdom excessively as I discovered. Here in our state one can go sceptered by political activism. Where brutal or insidious subjugation represses freedom political relations can contend against that. The alliance of the garden oasis could hold banded together. They likely would non hold been successful but there could hold been a motion to oppress. Then it could go an inspiration. This ne’er even crossed their heads.

Any kind of teamwork ended by page 108 with the separation of Farrokhlagha the de facto leader and Zarrinkolah who was seeking to acquire pregnant. So the group began to fracture. Even with their work and activity this was useless. Besides Parsipur was doing a point here: the adult females in their activity still had no political voice or authorization and Farrokhlagha’s hubby behind the scenes who really has political power garbages to utilize it for such people as adult females. So that excessively contrasted with my cultural outlooks of place. Were there any similarities that I could happen? I truly couldn’t. Infighting is non unknown here.

But I found myself deriding the adult females for non working together more. That might be an indicant of the inutility of such an enterprise but besides pointed to the utmost differences found in Persian civilization. The book was an insightful indictment of the Persian civilization in general and of the overall civilization of the capital Tehran at the same clip. It was hard for me to hold on. A closer expression at the writer explains why this is so. Parsipur as an writer took on a enormous challenge by composing Womans Without Men. This is unknown for the Western civilization. She isn’t merely showing an challenging narrative with complex issues.

She is taking on the whole of her society in a manner that could really jeopardize her. The fact that she is an Persian adult female is adequate to derive her a universe full of problems. Her book demonstrates that clearly. Yet she accepted this in an attempt to portion her universe with the exterior. One peculiar issue truly stands out. It is in Parsipur’s intervention of the male figures. There is non a hero among them. There is non one that is truly unsloped among them. That is particularly true of the political figure of Farrokhlagha’s hubby. There is no better manner to demo the demeaning. systematic maltreatment of adult females than through that figure.

He has plentifulness of power to alter things or at least get down to act upon some kind of alteration. He is will connected. He has money. All of this is apparent through the scene of the narrative. Despite this he refuses to travel. He doesn’t raise a finger to help. In that manner he is call on the carpeting their attempts and merely agitating his caput wittingly off phase. But is of import to observe that the writer is non complicit with this world. She has the adult females. and particularly Farrokhlagha resenting this adult male. He is powerful and refuses to assist the adult females. They are impotent and can non assist themselves.

Because this doesn’t alteration in the fresh Parsipur is doing an of import and unsafe socio-political statement. She is reprobating through her composing the ongoing about misogynous civilization that is extremist Iran and possibly even the larger Middle Eastern universe. That puts her in a great trade of danger. Subsequently in her book she briefly acknowledges this with a misanthropic sketch. “After speaking it over with Munis. she [ Farrokhlagha ] she concluded that she had to get down her societal life by going famous” ( 104 ) . This is non aspiration on the portion of the chief character. It is a gag being played by the writer. albeit once more in unsafe manner.

She is jabing at the system’s cultural repression of the adult female spirit and showing that under its force per unit area any freedom is merely a dream. One might every bit good merely dream large. Shahrnush Parsipur’s fresh Women Without Men is a powerful narrative about cultural differences between the West and the Middle East’s intervention and apprehension of adult females. The writer dares to step on land that exposes this and shows a verve of spirit to portion with the universe. Her characters are unhappily realistic and her narrative is disputing. I found my eyes opened and expect others’ to be every bit good.

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