Ama Anowa Gender Roles

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The stories “Anowa”, by Ama Ata Aidoo, and “One Thousand and One Nights” do not have many things in common, but one important feature that both stories share is one of the main characters challenging the gender roles of their society and time period. The character of Anowa in “Anowa” is an independent woman whose actions draw much unwanted attention to herself and her family by her community. While the character of Shahrazad in “One Thousand and One Nights” is a vastly educated woman that against the will of her father, puts herself in danger to try and protect other women. Although there are different gender roles during the times of Anowa and Shahrazad, both women show how different they are from the other women around them by defying their …show more content…
Anowa’s mother does not think he is good enough for Anowa. He comes from a good family, but he is seen as a fool within the community because he has not done much with his life. These reasons are also some of the same reasons as to why Anowa wants to marry him. “You will be surprised to know that I am going to help him do / something with his life” (Anowa 90). She knows marrying him will be good for her in more ways than one. First it will allow her to leave Yebi, getting away from her overbearing and controlling mother, where she can be more independent. Second, she wants to help him do something with his life and by helping him with his business, she gets to work and avoid the traditional roles of being a wife. She also likes the fact that she has power over him, another way of being different than the traditional marriage. This shows Anowa defying her gender roles not only for her own benefit, but also for the potential benefit of making her husband a better, more successful …show more content…
“He continued to do this until all the girls perished, their mothers mourned, and there arose a clamor among the fathers and mothers, who called the plague upon his head, complained to the Creator of the heavens, and called for help on Him who hears and answers prayers.” (One Thousand and One Nights 448). After this custom the king had developed had been going on for a while, Shahrazad decided she must try and stop it and she told her father, the vizier, to marry her to the king. After an argument with her father of insisting that he take her to the king, she told him, “In the end, if you don’t take me to King Shahrayar, I shall go to him by myself behind your back and tell him that you have refused to give me to one like him and that you have begrudged your master one like me.” (One Thousand and One Nights 452). She wants to go against her father’s will because she believes with her knowledge, she can save and protect the other women and if not then she is willing to die with them. She attempts do this by telling the king parts of a story every night hoping the king spares her to hear more of the story the next night. After a few nights, she begins to have control over the king by teasing him with the stories and leaving him burning with curiosity, but she makes sure

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