Abstract

This thesis provides a critical reading of Hanan al-Shaykh’s novel Women of Sand and Myrrh and Leila Abouzeid’s novel Year of the Elephant, focusing on how the women in these stories seek to articulate and enact their own agency in the face of attempts to limit them. Recent critical literature, such as Lila Abu-Lughod’s book Do Muslim Women Need Saving? have sought to use microhistories of individual women to counter the stereotypical image of Arab women portrayed in contemporary media, including modern Arabic literature in translation. My study has a parallel focus that will introduce new stories and models of Arab women as alternatives to the stereotype of being weak and oppressed. I offer close readings of the texts that highlight the individuality of the protagonists, while placing these works in a cultural context that provides a better understanding of the individual experiences of these women.

Department

English & Comparative Literature Department

Degree Name

MA in English & Comparative Literature

Date of Award

6-1-2019

Online Submission Date

May 2019

First Advisor

Nimis, Stephen

Committee Member 1

Melaney, William

Committee Member 2

Abdel Nasser, Tahia

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

58p.

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

IRB

Approval has been obtained for this item

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