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Title: Afghan Women through Generations: A Feminist Analysis of Nadia Hashimi’s The Pearl That Broke Its Shell (2014)
Authors: Oumeddour Safa, Belekbir Saida
Keywords: Afghan literature, Nadia Hashimi, Feminism, Gender roles, Gender identity, Bacha posh
Issue Date: 2022
Abstract: The present study seeks to find the reasons behind women’s oppression in Afghanistan. The present study is divided into three main chapters; the first chapter entitled A General Overview of Afghan Anglophone Literature, the second and the third chapters are a deep analysis of the novel; the second chapter is entitled Shekiba’s Avant-gardism and Inspiration, and the third chapter is entitled Rahima’s Identity Development. Though women’s status have changed in almost all parts of the world, nothing much has changed in Afghanistan which attracted many researchers and writers to look for the causes and outcomes of women oppression in this society. Nadia Hashimi is one of the most praised Afghan American writers. Because of her Afghan origins, she is mostly interested in Afghan women’s issues. Through her debut novel “The Pearl That Broke Its Shell” (2014), Hashimi describes the detailed life of Afghan women in general and the two main characters in particular. Shekiba and Rahima were relatives who are separated by a very long period of time yet they shared the same miserable lives because of their sex. The detailed life of both characters revealed the psychological and physical oppression they suffer from. This thesis deals with the reasons why women in this Islamic society are deprived of their rights, and why males are preferred over females which often force the families without a born son to disguise one of their daughters as a boy. It also reveals the psychological impact which the bacha posh (changing girls into boys) has on their gender identity when reverting back to femininity at puberty.
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