This study examines male characters' subjugation of women through religious discourse as a validating institution. Two third world writers' works, Nawal El Saadawi's The Fall of the Imam and Gabriel García Márquez Chronicle of a Death Foretold, explore this subjugation through the social construction of religion, resulting in the preservation of "discourses" such as religion over the years. I use Simone de Beauvoir and Edward Said's theories in my study of how women came to be identified with inferiority while men came to be identified with superiority. Beauvoir's theory addresses women and men directly, focusing on how societies shape women, classifying them as the "second sex" and men as the first and superior sex. Said addresses the feminized Orient, where his political discussions of the Occident-Orient relationship bring out how the stereotypical image of the inferior Orient came to be. In addition, I refer to Michel Foucault's concept of "discourse" to help in reaching the roots of the embeddedness and solid position of social constructions and their upholding through knowledge and history, along with Giambattista Vico's notion of history, too. El Saadawi focuses on presenting religion as a daily tool that governs the community while García Márquez uses religion as a tool to promote the entrenched cultural traditions that the community has no choice but to abide by. The study aims to present the ongoing error of attempting to gain equality between both genders when there should be an acceptance of the differing roles, however, without hindering the progress or success of any of the two genders.


English & Comparative Literature Department

Degree Name

MA in English & Comparative Literature

Graduation Date


Submission Date

September 2017

First Advisor

Abdel Nasser, Tahia

Committee Member 1

Ghazoul, Ferial

Committee Member 2

Soliman, Mounira


73 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

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First and foremost I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Tahia Abdel Nasser, for her effort, patience and motivation. Her constructive feedback and aspiring guidance steered me in the right direction throughout my research and writing process. I would, also, like to thank Dr. Ferial Ghazoul and Dr. Mounira Soliman for providing me with valuable comments and academic support to successfully complete my dissertation. Also, many thanks to Ola Shanab and Omneya Ali for always being of great help, on a personal and academic level. I would like to acknowledge and thank my family and friends for their unconditional support. I would especially like to thank my father for always believing in me, my mother for her wise counsel and my brother for helping me approach difficulties with a positive mindset. I owe a debt of gratitude to my grandfather who continues to inspire me in my life and studies. I would also like to thank Nada Hemamy, Mariam Salem, Farah Geninah, Sarah Mahmoud and Fatma Massoud for their ongoing encouragement and help.