The Answer Is No

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2002

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The Answer Is No From centuries to centuries the role of women has been predominantly subordinate to the role of men. Men have been known to be superior in both physical and mental levels. They are also most likely to have an "upper hand" in situations based on their gender. An example of such situation is taken place in "The Answer Is No", written by Naguib Mahfouz. This story has a considerable amount of sexual politics. On one side you have a women who is powerless and feels trapped because of her position. Yet on the other hand her weakness becomes her strength, which leads her to her "happiness." The feminism in the story is implicit. The main character is a woman who has suffered through a sexual encounter that has scarred her for life. More so, she feels that she has nowhere to go and is forced to be silent in her own misery.

Badran Badwi, is the man who takes advantage of the girls innocence and nobility. He not only inflicts harm on her, but knowing that she is vulnerable he continues to terrorize her and comes back into her life without having any sense of remorse for doing what he did. "The Answer Is No" demonstrates the consequences that a woman has to suffer due to a man's ego and dominative character trait. It also represents woman as being week and vulnerable in the eyes of a man. Essentially one cannot argue that it is impossible to imagine reversing the male-female roles in this story.

This story for the most part does not challenge the traditional ideas about women. The woman in the story is automatically portrayed to be a scared submissive girl. She is scared to face reality. For example when she was about to...