Feminism In The Open Door

1262 Words 6 Pages
Nasserism and the revolution of 1952 came to Egypt with a number of changes, and not just through land reform, voting rights for women, and the nationalization of the Suez Canal. The new era that followed the 1952 coup did not only affect politics and the economy. In tandem with economic reform and social justice movements, Egyptians faced a change in the collective mind of the nation, the relationships of individuals, new morals and values, and growing national identity. In The Open Door, Latifa al-Zayyat highlights how the political revolution changed the personal lives of Egyptians. Her novel fills the holes that are often left empty by purely historical discussions. With this book, she attempts to answer a very complex question: in what ways were the lives of individuals, particularly young men and women, …show more content…
The characters, namely Husyam, Layla, and Mahmud, repeatedly acknowledge the need to end imperialism, colonialism, and the power those influences have over Egyptian life. The fight against colonialism is exemplified physically by the activism of these characters - Mahmud and Husayn at the Canal, Layla’s participation in the demonstrations. However, the characters also fight colonialism in more subversive and personal ways. The young characters harbor extreme resentment for the idea of marrying into money and falling in line with the bourgeoisie, western-influenced Egyptian class. This not only further separates them ideologically from the older generation, but serves as a direct stand against colonialism. Even in personal relations, there is action against adhering to standards set by the colonizers. Decolonization in this novel is regarded as something that happens outside of the political sphere. As these characters feel colonized in the political sphere, they understand and rebel against the way colonialism has also impacted their relationships and class

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