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Woman at Point Zero tells a tale of a reluctant prostitute who is sent to prison in Cairo, Egypt for murdering her pimp Marzouk and is preparing to be murdered. Border Crossing is very similar it recounts to the narrative of how women are treated in El Paso, Texas. In Dahlia’s Lounge the main character in the story is a prostitute that gets murdered by her previous spouse. Nadal El Saadawi, the author of Women at Point Zero, and Nelia Padilla the author of Border Crossing illustrates the fermented and downtrodden life of Firdaus and Magdelana. The author constructs these two stories stating that they are akin to possession. The main characters Firdaus and Magdelana are very similar in a way they both have problems of identity, lack of power, and sexuality troubles.
In both stories, the characters both battles with identity. In Border Crossing Magdalena stated, “I lived in two worlds and they were stranger, never able to find each other”. Padilla uses irony in this story to display an example of identity issues. The quote is portraying how Magdalena feels like she has two sprits in two worlds that can’t find each other because they are trying to face the reality that she is faced with cruel and unjust treatment. Women at Point Zero, Firdaus stated “They do not fear my knife, it is my truth which frightens them”. Saadawi showed that Firdaus couldn’t be her true self because the men of Egypt would not exploit and accept the truth about how women are treated.
Padilla and Saadawi both depict loss of power between the characters. Magdelana expressed ‘I walked passed myself and returned to the womb where the sound of my mother sheltered until covered in blood’. Magdelana has misfortune her influence when she was executed by her significant other, she had an external body involvement as she’s her body laid on the bed dead and she in her influence couldn’t do nothing about it. Women at Point Zero, Women one cited ‘ she plunged the knife in his neck’. Once Firdaus dove the blade in Marzouk she lost her capacity since she realized she was going to be imprison for killing a man. Likewise, women were abused by the men of Cairo, so she could stand an opportunity of pulling off homicide despite the fact that she stood up for herself. They both loses their identity from the power of men.
Border Crossing and Women at Point Zero shows sexuality troubles. In the story Dahlia stated, “Yeah she my; Soldiers are crazy for her”. This quote define that Magdelana is a prostitute and Dahlia is her pimp. Magdalena don’t have any control of her sexuality because she owned by Dahlia. Magdalena turned toward prostitution because men who she loves used and abused her and she felt prostitution was her only way out. Women at Point Zero Firdaus quoted “I prefer be a free prostitute rather than an enslaved wife”. While being a prostitute, Firdaus attempts to separate her mind from her body. While laying down with men, Firdaus closes her eyes planning to totally expel all of herself from the experience, leaving just her physical body, a minor shell of her reality. The capacity for men to pay Firdaus in return for sex is clearly a strategy man use to enslave Firdaus, setting her underneath him and depreciating her self-esteem by focusing on the way that power can be effectively purchased and detracted from her. In any case, Firdaus trusts that in the event that she is just ready to give the men a pitiless, body rather than her actual self, she recovers the genuine quality of her freedom. Firdaus and Magdalena feel used by men.
In conclusion the characters stories are very similar they both argues the importance of identity problems, lack of power, and sexuality troubles. Firdaus and Magdalena feel that the men they encounter with thinks their body only exist for them. They have no control of their own physical body. Firdaus and Magdalena both are prostitutes who gets used by men. The women in their community are vulnerable to men. They face the life long struggle to claim their body as their own.
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