Yearning for Freedom in a Prison without Bars in Two Novels: Ṣamt al-Farāshāt/ Silence of the Butterflies by Laylā al-ʿUthmān and Lam ʾAʿud ʾAbkī / I Do not Cry Anymore by Zaynab Ḥifnī (Published)
The crisis of freedom that the Gulf woman lives in under a patriarchal male culture that is biased against her and against the Arab woman in general, turns her into a prisoner who lives behind moral bars. Under these circumstances, the Gulf woman’s writing becomes a conflict with the man’s concepts and the patriarchal male mentality of her society. However, by writing, she reveals the issues of her scandalous oppression, and emancipates herself from her shackles. Writing is one of the forms of freedom, through which she regains her voice that has been stolen from her as a woman and a creative artist. This study seeks to reveal the manifestations of oppression that the woman is exposed to in the feminist Gulf literature in two novels: Ṣamt al-Farāshāt by Laylā al-ʿUthmān, and Lam ʾAʿud ʾAbkī by Zaynab Ḥifnī as samples. The study will reveal the woman’s figurative ‘prison’ and ‘jailor’: the prison of society with its norms and traditions, and the prison of the Man and his domination as images of her oppression by marriage, and by the siege of social norms, the culture of silence, her prevention from choosing her job and her creative freedom. In return, the study will observe the features of her revolution and rebellion against all these figurative “prisons” such as her refusal of the traditional marriage, her resistance by writing, her search for love, and breakage of the sex taboo. The woman manifests herself between the character of the ‘prisoner’ and the ‘rebellious’ woman, between her ‘yearning for freedom’ and her ‘revolt’ against the ‘bars’ in order to realize herself and break the taboos.
Keywords: Females, Freedom, Prison, Society, Traditions, bars, males