Woman at Point Zero
In the book, Woman at Point Zero, the character Firdaus seems to be a woman that has endured a tremendous amount of suffering and discrimination in a society that victimizes women. Throughout the story she has experienced several incidents which bear a strong effect on her feelings towards men. Her confrontations and observations of men as a young girl influence the way she is as an adult. Firdaus seems to be a woman with little control over her destiny and is really looking for a way of survival.
When Firdaus is first introduced, she tells the story of her childhood which is depressing. Firdaus was born into a poor countryside family with a father that often beat her mother and on occasion her, as well. She then goes on to tell about a time when she would play with a boy named Mohammadain. Firdaus experienced sexual pleasure for the first time with Mohammadain. However, Firdaus' mother performs a clitoridectomy on her and Firdaus never feels the same pleasure from sex again. This unfortunate event along with her witnessing of her father beating her mother sets the stage for her distrust of men throughout her life.
Ultimately her parents die and she is sent to live with her Uncle in Cairo. For a bleak period in her life, things look up for Firdaus. She gets along great with her Uncle and goes to a high-quality school. Firdaus loves school and is enjoying her life at this point. Everything changes, however, when her Uncle marries a woman that does not like Firdaus. Because of her dislike of Firdaus, the Uncle decides to send Firdaus to a boarding school. Life for her gets real unpleasant once she graduates from boarding school. Her Uncle and her Step-Mother force Firdaus to wed a hideous looking 60-year-old man that is related to the Step-Mother. This man treats Firdaus very badly and beats her often. After one horrific beating, Firdaus leaves the house for good and runs to a coffee shop. Here she meets a man named...
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