All The Silent Sounds Analysis

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Through the novel All the Silent Sounds, the main focus is the female characters and their experiences, all of which revolve around misogyny and abuse. As defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, misogyny is “a hatred of women,” an attitude that leads directly to abuse. Notably, in the story both women and men, embodied by Afeera and Isra’s husband Adam, are the actual perpetrators of misogyny and abusive relationships. At the very beginning of the novel, Deya is experiencing oppressive gender rules. The novel continues as it relates that her mother Isra lived through similar oppressive situations, but ones which horribly end in her being beat to death by her husband. Sarah, another female character, struggles with ordeals of abusive …show more content…
Isra is meant to blindly and submissively serve her husband Adam, without thinking about herself. This theme of abuse is developed as the novel depicts a disturbing sexual scene from Isra and Adam’s wedding night. “Blood rushed down my thighs, and I took a deep breath. I tried to ignore the burning sensation between my legs, tried to forget that I was in a strange room, in a strange bed, with a strange man. I wished my mother warned me about this night, about the powerlessness a woman feels when another man strikes through her skin, about the shame that fills her when she is forced to give herself up, forced to be still.” This type of patriarchal philosophy and belief about male-domination of sexual relationships is appallingly common in cultures that are misogynistic. In Quiverfull: Inside the Patriarchal Christian Movement, Kathryn Joyce sheds light on this horrifying phenomenon. “A submissive wife understands that, as the Bible commands that husbands and wives have authority over each other’s bodies, she owes her husband enough sex to satiate his appetite so that he is not tempted by another woman. In this way, a woman withholding sex from her husband is not only defrauding him of that which is rightfully his but is inducing him to sin” (54). Although Joyce is specifically referring to fundamentalist Christian patriarchy, the patriarchal attitude regarding sex is applicable to different religious and cultural beliefs. The male dominance system of patriarchy exhibited in the wedding night episode of Isra is defined accurately by Carol Christ: “Patriarchy is a system of male dominance, rooted in the ethos of war which legitimates violence, sanctified by religious symbols, in which men dominate women through the control of female sexuality, with the intent of passing property to male heirs, and in which men who are heroes of war are told to kill men, and are permitted to rape women, to

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