Women Of Deh Kh Analysis

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In Erika Friedl’s ‘Women of Deh Koh: Lives in an Iranian Village,’ a beautiful, multi-faceted mosaic is painted, illustrating the every day lives of women in a modern Iranian mountain village dealing with the adversities of domestic power politics, childbirth, infertility, marriage, and old age. According to Western standards, the situations of these women are primitive and oppressive. However, to the women of Deh Koh, their situations are all they know of life. The village is sustained on gossip between the intermarried and extended families that live there. While it would seem that in a village such as this that the men would be the most controlling aspects of the women’s lives, that is not the case. The women are the ones who are exerting …show more content…
In addition to the loss of her husband, this tough, elderly woman braved the trials and dispute of staying on her own land rather than take a subservient role in the house of one of her brothers. “Maryam was strong in will and body. While other women around her withered quickly into middle age, depleted from childbearing and child rearing, malnourished and anemic, only too glad to delegate work and responsibilities to their daughters, daughters-in-law and sons, Maryam stood straight backed, small, with head held high, and her quick, dark eyes watched her own and Korshid’s interests with undivided alertness.” …show more content…
Aftab, a young woman not from Deh Koh, was seen as strange and rebellious, as she chose not to abide by every single village norm. “Maryam, in the spirit of charitable neighborliness, told Aftab not to walk around with painted eyes and henna on her hands like a young bride. It was vulgar, she said; it was conspicuous; people would talk. She should do it at home, for her husband – they were both young, after all – but not for other people to see. Aftab looked her straight in the eye and told her to mind her own business.” (69) Aftab signifies the shift in post-revolution household dynamics here. Despite its overall sense of negativity, the gossip in the village seems to keep the women feeling alive. The lines of gossip in Deh Koh almost seem to have as much life in them as veins in ones body or a hidden river somewhere. In a very amusing chapter, Friedl compares different relatives’ versions of how Golgol and Ali married, separated and reunited. Referring to Golgol’s husband, Friedl writes: “Ali liked her well enough, but his mother and his sister were jealous. They filled him with lies and tales behind her back.”

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