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    Women at Point Zero Essay

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    This piece from Women at Point Zero is a really interesting and unique piece. These words that Firdaus speaks, tell so much about the reasons for her doings to the author and why she has decided to accept her death. They also make the reader feel sympathy in a different way and show a beginning of a very long conversation between Firdaus and the author.

    The impression that the reader gets of Firdaus from this extract is loneliness and never got to speak. The sentence that she starts with itself show an outlook of her life “Let me speak. Do not interrupt me.” (1) She never had the chance to say what she wanted and today she wants to leave the world by telling her story. Firdaus never got a chance to feel good or proud about what she did about herself and accepts that today is when she feels the pride that she yearned for all her life, that is the reason she accepts the death. “All my life I have been searching for something that would fill me with pride, make me feel superior to everyone else, including kings, princes, and rulers.” (4-6) Her ambition in life was very strong but throughout her adulthood Firdaus was a prostitute and hid her truth behind make-up. She accepts it herself – “And because I am a prostitute, I hid my fear under layers of make-up.” (19)

    The fear of letting her truth to be shown – her status, her desires and her past. We can see in this extract that her childhood made her a person she could not be as she was scared to let her past come out and wouldn’t be accepted that way and so she keeps it to herself till today, today she tells Nawal her whole life as she is going to die in a few hours. Even as she boasts about her achievement of being a successful prostitute you can see that it was a pointless career because all she had for the men that she attended was hatred. This shows the reader that it seemed so that she never had a good male role model in her life. “Each time I picked up a newspaper and found the picture of a man… I would spit on it.” (7 – 8). She has a lot of anger towards the men although she was a successful prostitute which meant that her income came from the same men she hated and she had to attend and satisfy the same men.

    The language that Nawal El – Saadawi chooses is very interesting with different terms she shows Firdaus attitudes. The reader sees Firdaus views on life very closely through her words. “But because I am a woman I have never had the courage to life my hand.” And so she always hid under her make up and kept on accepting everything without her really accepting it, but today she is proud and accepts her death with open arms. Throughout her life she puts her needs and desires away but today she lets it all out. She talks about the most -expensive make-up, my hair, that she used but this never made her feel better it always reminded her of the her real status. “Only my make-up, my hair, and my hair and my expensive shoes were upper -class’. With my secondary school certificate and suppressed desires I belonged to the ‘middle class’. By birth I was lower class.” (27 – 29) Towards the end of the extract she lets out the truth and reveals her true face.

    Diction in this extract is an important part as they all help in the story she tells “… earth fills me pride.” – the word ‘fills’ is used has an empty space that needed to be filled and now with the choice and decision she made it fills that emptiness that she had all her life. ‘natural and serious’ this shows that she put a specific color of lipstick that portrayed an image that she wanted the people to see not her true self. In a way that showed that she knew or thought that she wouldn’t be accepted as the person and so needed to be someone else to survive living in this world. At the end of the extract her last two sentences are her telling her true image – the true Firdaus, she adds in her ‘suppressed desires’ that she never received all her life and that makes reader look up to the top of the page as the connection of those words are to what Firdaus says about what she slapping the men. It made me think – did she really want to do that? What were her real desires as a little girl? The pain she received throughout her years of living are shown with those two words but today as she talks to the author she is at a higher status because today she is going to get what she wanted and as she walks to the gallows she walks with her pride.

    The mood and atmosphere are shown by the imagery of the earth – this shows they were man people in her life who were the cause of what she has become. Spitting on the newspaper that only covered kitchen shelves wasn’t a very good feeling but she did it anyway. She talks about her desire: ” to lift my hand and bring it smashing down on his face” this really gives the mood of the extract and shows her hatred which is the atmosphere. She talks about her make up and the layers. ” I hid my hear under layers of make -up” there were many layers not just one or two which means there was a lot of fear. The imagery shows her sadness in life and also the anger towards the men of the world – which is the tone of this piece of writing. This sets the atmosphere out for the reader and you can only hear Firdaus voice.

    To conclude I can say that Firdaus in this extract starts the story of her life in very open way as she lets the reader know how she feels in her first sentence which lasts three words long. There are so many things she gives the reader to take in and makes the reader question about her past and what happened that made her hate men so much! Lastly how she can be proud of going to get hanged soon, what was her crime? If she did so many bad things how could the people of the jail want her to live so much’she gets the readers side also in the argument. It is really interesting how the extract leaves with her telling the truth about her life and status (low).

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