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THE EXISTENTIAL ALIENATION OF THE FEMININE SELF IN THIS HOUSE OF CLAY AND WATER BY FAIQA MANSAB
Corresponding Author(s) : Amna Saeed
Humanities & Social Sciences Reviews,
Vol. 9 No. 1 (2021): January
Purpose of the study: The present study aims to analyze the text This House of Clay and Water (2017) by Mansab, through the Existentialist Feminist lens in the light of Simone de Beauvoir’s theory as explained in her revolutionary work, The Second Sex (2009). The purpose of the study is not only to highlight women’s oppression/ othering in marriage due to patriarchy but also to mark the role of the ‘husband’ as crucial to the understanding of women’s emotional abandonment in marriage.
Methodology: The study is qualitative and uses a descriptive analysis of the selected text. The method of literary analysis used in the text is based on a close reading of the narrative description and events of alienation of the identity persona of the protagonist in the text.
Main Findings: The present study draws on Simone de Beauvoir’s ideas about how women are treated as others by the male subject in marriage resulting in a feeling of frustration, identity loss alienation, and existential crisis. Moreover, the role of the husband is crucial to avoid this crisis in women after marriage.
Application of the study: This study can have many applications in various fields. The study demonstrates the impacts of social and cultural stereotypes on women as well as the role of patriarchy and resulting alienation. This study can have many applications in gender and feminist studies. This study can also be helpful in the academic setting for research purposes especially in feminism, gender studies, and female existentialism.
The novelty of the study: The present study demonstrates how the protagonist feels entrapped and suffocated in her home, forced to live a life of false hope due to the impositions placed on her by her parents, her husband, her in-laws, and the patriarchal society which resultantly creates a feeling of alienation. The study concludes how dissuading a woman from her true self and forcing her to exist as an object results in a feeling of dissatisfaction, existential crisis, and alienation. The selected text has not been explored through the lens of Existential Feminism before.
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