International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Rethinking Muslim Woman’s Agency in Modern Literature
Dr. Mashael A. Al-Sudeary

In the present struggle for power between nations and civilizations, gender issues pertaining to the Muslim world have been politicized and in the process women’s lives have been deconstructed and taken out of context.As the Muslim woman finds her position being shifted from subject to object, her voice is muted and her agency is nullified.This paper seeks to investigate Muslim woman’s agency in the public and private space in English texts written by comprador intellectuals and then compare them to Arabic texts. The English texts that will be studied are Midnight’s Children (Rusdie), Reading Lolita in Tehran (Nafisi) and Dreams of Trespass (Mernissi), while the Arabic texts are Alwarefah (U Al-Khamees), A Woman and Two Shadows (K Al-Khamees) and MasarratwaAlawaja (Takarali). In comparing the English and Arabic texts’ representations of Muslim women’s will to power in the public and private space, this paper seeks to correct stereotypes about the Muslim woman’s lack of agency as a first step to allowing her a voice and a say in her present and future. This paper also hopes to come to an understanding of what the similarities and differences in writers’ representationsmay reveal about the human condition in its individual endeavor for verification and acceptance within the larger global political struggle for authority and power.

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