Patterns of Femininity in Nawal El Saadawi’s The Novel and Love in the Kingdom of Oil

  • Nkeiruka Lemoha Ositadinma
Keywords: Pattern, Femininity, Subjugated.

Abstract

This paper examines the representations of femininity in Nawal El Saadawi’s The Novel and Love in the Kingdom of Oil. It identifies three personality models exhibited by female character portrayal patterns of femininity. The patterns, which the study terms normative, contemporary and agglomerate patterns of femininity, reoccur in the texts revealing contradictions embedded in women’s struggle against obnoxious cultural elements that are detrimental to their subjective consciousness as humans. The paper argues that Nawal El Saadawi, an Arab feminist and a creative dissident, creates feminine types that contradict established feminine norms, thereby redefining and reconstructing Arab Femininity, incorporating inherent feminine traits that are aberrant to the established traditional norms. She presents Arab femininity from the point of view of the culture controlled/subjugation femininity, depicting the state of Arab traditional femininity and from the point of view of re-conceptualized and restructured Arab femininity that contradicts and challenges the normative or culture construct femininity. In doing so, she creates female protagonists who challenge the status quo, by rejecting the cultural and religious prescribed characteristics and attributes for Arab women. El Saadawi thereby offers a heroic perspective to femininity using female characters who oppose the status quo by taking up professions regarded as masculine, refusing submission, chastity, wifehood, and motherhood. These acts are regarded as a misnomer and a challenge to the traditional status quo and to the authority of men. El Saadawi therefore contemporizes Arab femininity thereby inaugurating the new Arab woman.

Author Biography

Nkeiruka Lemoha Ositadinma

Department of English,

University of Lagos, Akoka

Published
2020-02-26
How to Cite
Ositadinma , N. L. (2020). Patterns of Femininity in Nawal El Saadawi’s The Novel and Love in the Kingdom of Oil. Unilag Journal of Humanities, 8(1), 1-12. Retrieved from http://jsrd.unilag.edu.ng/index.php/ujh/article/view/601