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Have you ever fallen in love, Firdaus?
No, Wafeya. I have never been in love.
Then you are either living a lie or not living at all.
–Nawal El Saadawi, Woman at Point Zero

Woman at Point Zero is a narrative about a girl who has experienced awful abuse with the ending (I hope) being one of acceptance and peace within herself. I agree with the connections being drawn between Woman at Point Zero and Khaled Hosseini’s novels. The Kite Runner, in particular, is another “coming to terms” novel in which the main character accepts his difficult upbringing and changes for the better. I think both are beautiful pieces that speak to the soul.

This quote I selected is, I believe, the most powerful in this novel so far. The topic of love is abundant throughout the narrative of Firdaus’s life. Firdaus tries to find love in others (the most important being that of her uncle) but can never quite achieve this because of the lack of love she has for herself. This could be due to the fact that when Firdaus was a child, the idea of love that she had for her own life was one of rape (her uncle) and punishment (father beating her mother).

I find it interesting the association Firdaus makes between her mother’s eyes (?) and love. I am not sure where this connection will lead me, as I have yet to finish the novel. The connection that I have made thus far is the love that a mother experiences with her child (which is supposed to be unyielding and selfless). The other time the eyes have been a serious contributor is the unnerving experience Firdaus has when she runs from her uncle (which is not a connection to love).

It’s her development within herself that I find the most comforting. Firdaus goes to school and starts to question the “love” that she once believed. This growing confidence is then squandered with the marriage of her husband, built up and then torn down (from Bayoumi). The doubts Firdaus experiences about herself are something that I think most readers can relate to. I am excited to see what this mysterious woman brings to Firdaus’s growth to acceptance.

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