2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

A Look at Hamida Through Feminist and Marxist Lenses in Naguib Mahfouz's Midaq Alley
Emily N. Stobbe
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

According to Ross Murfin, professor and critic, gender and sexuality are shaped by institutional structures and attitudes. In Naguib Mahfouz's Midaq Alley, Hamida, a young woman living in deep poverty in Cairo, must make a series of choices that on the surface seem selfish and submissive to the male power structure. However, these choices in the end allow her to escape her poverty-stricken life. This paper will argue that Hamida's choice to become a prostitute (and thus to submit to the patriarchal norms) reflects the ways in which her own sexuality is defined by her life of poverty. Furthermore, her choice can also be seen as representing her agency, strength, and independence.

Keywords: poverty, feminism, patriarchy, prostitution, Egypt, independence

Middle Eastern Studies
Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 401-1
Location: MG 1000
Time: 2:30

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