The Western Woman's Harem Analysis

1477 Words 6 Pages
Fatema Mernissi and Andrea Roman both delve into their struggles with culture conflict in their articles “Size 6: The Western Woman’s Harem” and “We’re Not...” to not only compare the differences between lifestyles but also reveal to the reader of their attitude toward the American society. In terms of approached subject material, usage of narration for personal experiences, and structure, the author’s writings are almost identical. It is their injection of culture through past occurrences that make it possible to be able to understand the conflict of two societies while still being able to be able to relate to readers who are foreign to a different way of life. However, after a reader delves into the comparisons, they find that the messages …show more content…
In order to create a proper comparison, both Mernissi and Roman would narrate the setting of each conflict such as“I was eleven years old when I first showed up to my house with an article of clothing that was not mine,” or “It was during my unsuccessful attempt to buy a cotton skirt in an American department store that I was told my hips were too large to fit into a size six,” in order to address the issue at hand (Roman 254) (Mernissi 274). Narration allows a personal connection to form due to the reader relating to how each author’s thought process sheds light on the problems through their perspective. Both authors would continue narrating their experiences and apply a structure on how they would address each comparison. After introducing each conflict, both authors would go into detail how an aspect of American culture compared to their own. For example, Roman revealed that “we do not borrow clothes from other people. It is seen as an insult to the family in saying that we cannot afford to take care of our family,” showing the large a gap between Bolivians and Americans on the subject of lending clothes.(Roman 254). When Mernissi would introduce her personal experience with clothing sizes she stated “‘I come from a country where there is no size for women’s clothes,..I buy my own …show more content…
In terms of figurative language, Mernissi frequently uses metaphors, similes, and hyperboles to compare her culture to American culture. She would use a simile about the clothing clerk by saying she sounded like “an Imam’s fatwa,” in order to show how she seemed as controlling as a Muslim priest reading her the rules that she must follow (Mernissi 275). Later a metaphor is put into use when she describes herself being “a dinosaur” when she realized that her body was too old and out of shape to wear any of the newest clothes (Mernissi 276). Hyperboles are even utilized when she describes size standards as a “more violent restriction” than the hijab women are forced to wear in conservative Muslim countries (Mernissi 276). Mernissi wants to create a negative connotation for aspects of American culture she finds oppressive. Typically, Americans view Islamic culture to be controlling, but Mernissi shows with her figurative that Americans can be just as bad. Roman however doesn’t really use these tools because she does not really want to create and negative or positive connotations of the cultures she is comparing. This is where tone comes in, where both authors use it to make the reader empathize with the feelings that the authors are portraying. Roman would constantly lament over the strictness of her own family’s

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