Hypocrisy of Men in Woman at Point Zero

How does Nawal el *Sadaawi’s* characterization*s* of men convey* the hypocrisy of men in Egyptian society in ‘Woman at Point Zero?’ *Michelle Davies 10/3/2010
The characterization of men by Nawal el Sadaawi in this book seems to convey the primary theme of hypocrisy in this particular patriarchal society. The author seems to describe these characters in a way to show the different facets of society that one may find hypocrisy. In this essay I will attempt to see to what effect does the usage of literary devices affect the way in which the men can be characterized as hypocrites, and how are they a microcosm ofthe corrupt and unjust sexist society in which she lives.
One way in which El Sadaawi conveys the hypocrisy of men in Egyptian society is through the characterization of Firdaus’s uncle. Firdaus’s uncle was educated at El Azhar University to become a Sheikh, and he abused her when she was a young girl. This is evident when he “slowly” moved his “hand” to “touch” her “leg” The fact that her uncle was touching her leg and when he heard someone there would “withdraw quickly” showing that he knew that what he was doing was wrong and would be seen as distasteful by other members of society. This seems to be the author could be showing, through the construction of this figurative situation, the weakness and hypocrisy of religious men, where they look down and shame people, and yet are capable of committing the same violations to their faith while still referring to themselves as ‘holy’.
The way in which Sheikh Mahmoud, Firdaus’s husband, is also directly characterized is used to show the hypocrisy of men: “large swelling…it would turn into a rusty old tap exuding… pus.” The hyperbolical description of Sheikh Mahmoud could be a direct physical representation, an allegory perhaps, of the hypocrisy of religious men; drawing a parallel to Islamic religion, being known for having a high regard for cleanliness, contrasting with this ‘holy man’ who is described in...