Feed on

Woman at Point Zero

In Women at Point Zero, Firdaus tells her story, a story of loneliness, rape, inequality, and longing.  Nawal El Saadawi is the mouthpiece for Firdaus.  Unable to tell her own story, as she is imprisoned and awaiting execution, Saadawi is the mouthpiece for Firdaus.  Saadawi gives a voice to a point of view that would normally go unheard.  I think point of view is very important in this story.  Obviously, we are hearing Firdaus’ story but we are hearing it through Saadawi.  Are these Firdaus’ direct words or has Saadawi added her own language to Firdaus’ recount?  Either way, I think it is important to consider point of view.  Who is speaking? Is it more Firdaus or Saadawi?

But however Saadawi has decided to tell Firdaus’ story, the recounting of the imprisoned woman’s life is important, shocking, and disturbing.  The conversation between Wafeya and Firdaus was one of the moments that stood out to me the most.  Wafeya asks “Have you ever fallen in love?” Firdaus answers that she has never been in love.  Wafeya cannot believe that Firdaus has never been in love.  Their conversation ends with Wafeya making the remark “Then you are either living a lie, or not living at all.”  This sentence stood out the most to me in what I have read so far.  This question haunts Firdaus.  It has haunted Firdaus since she was a child, she has just never been able to articulate her feelings correctly.

Firdaus is a woman lost in a world that does not value her existence.  She is constantly tossed around like a rag doll.  She does not even see her own parents has her own, but as imposters.  Her uncle, a man who has sexually abused her since she was a child, is the man she loves the most.  She longs for love, for human contact, but it is impossible for her to create healthy relationships when everyone around her treats her as if she is nothing.  She only finds a semblance of stability in her years at school but that lasts only for a moment before she is auctioned off to an old man she must marry.  Abuse follows her.  She can never escape the cycle.  She is a woman and so in this society, she is doomed.  Just like Wafeya said, Firdaus is not living at all.

Comments are closed.