Ramza:Birth Of A Feminist Essay, Research Paper
How far would one go for theirbeliefs? Would one be willing to give up their home, family, or maybe evenloose a parent? In the novel, Ramza, by Out El Kouloub, this happens toRamza. Ramza breaks all the rules, creates a scandal, loosesher reputation, as well as everything else she once held dear to her. Why didthis happen? This happened because she followed her beliefs and does not keepquiet as most women would have. Her beliefs of women s emancipation are asstrong as her personality is. Clearly, Ramza s beliefs evolve overthe years as she becomes older and older and her rebel heart becomes strongerand stronger.
First, as a very young child,listening to her mother, Indje, Ramza s rebel heart begins to form. Ramza smother had a life of being bought and sold. When she talks to Ramza about the chariot races she participated in as ayoung girl, Ramza does not have the same feelings about this subject as hermother does. I blushed with embarrassment atthe thought of her being used in this way, and felt deeply humiliated on herbehalf (19). This signifies that Ramza already is not going to be the ordinarygirl of the harem. The fact that she feels humiliated and embarrassed for hermother gives a clue that Ramza would never want to be treated like her mother,nor have her mother s life. Ramza s mother, however,
only remembers the races as a happy game. Even as a youngchild, Ramza acquires the reputation of being fierce. However, she is notashamed of
this notoriety. I screamed at her, telling her she wasstupid when she did not respond to someone who maligned her (7). Ramza loves her mother greatly and becameher mother s protector, like an older sister. Ramza becomes this figure becauseher mother was an ordinary woman of the harem, and she did not talk back ordefend herself what so ever. At this, one can see Ramza s outspokenpersonality. When Indje starts to tell Ramza herlife story, Ramza can not believe the way her mother lived, and does not wantthe same life. She never noticed my hands clench into fists, nor did sherealize that she was helping form my rebel heart (7). Her hands clenching intofists shows that Ramza is willing and ready to fight back to anyone who mighttreat her in this way. She is not like the other women who just sit back whileothers walk all over them. It also seems that these women, since they havenever seen anything other then what they were taught, do not realize that allof these people are walking all over them. They just assume that this is theway everything is supposed to be. These are the first signs of Ramza becoming agreat feminist.
Next, as an older child, in herrelations with her father, Ramza s beliefs become even stronger because her father allows her to become educated.When Ramza becomes older and is not let into the men s quarters anymore, sherefuses to cooperate. At this, her father declares I did not seem to be alittle girl one could confine to the harem (27). This pleases Ramza. As one cansee,
Ramza does not get much discipline that would be able tostop her growing beliefs. Because Ramza and her father grow closer, Ramza sfather lets her
listen in on Friday night gatherings, which she wasotherwise forbidden to attend. He finally agreed to let me stay behind thedoor of his room to listen, hidden by a heavy velvet curtain (29). Ramza learns about the emancipation of womenfrom these meetings. Without these meetings, Ramza probably would not even knowwhat the emancipation of women is. Because Ramza is not disciplined, her fatherlets her get away with many things. When she writes all over her father snotes, she does not get punished, but her father gives her a pen holder instead! had he scolded, punished, or hit me, I would have certainly grown even morerebellious .. (58). This also shows how weak Ramza s father is towards her.Because Ramza s father always gives in to her, Ramza starts to think that shecan get anything that she wants and no one, not even her father, would stand inher way. Anyone can see that it is not Ramza s fault for growing up rebellious,but it is the way she is brought up.
Finally, as a young adult in herrelationships with others and society in general, Ramza does not hold back heroutspoken personality. When meeting the man she loves, nothing is going to stopher from marrying him. This is the time when Ramza becomes most rebellious. Mygoal was to find Maher and to elope (149). This was down hill for Ramza becauselater she finds out that no matter what she does, she is still a woman, and shealone could not break tradition. Ramza is too infatuated with Maherto see the truth. The truth is that he
is a part of tradition and he reallyis not ready to go against everything he has ever been taught nor go againsthis father. He does not want to make his father
angry or become a scandal, however, Ramza accomplishes both. I was willing to give up everything for him, my family and the comfortable lifeI had led. I was ready to follow Maher anywhere (152). At this time she doesnot realize what will happen when she gives up everything for him. Ramza can not be contained. Even when her marriage is annulled, theyloose the case, make terrible fools out of themselves, and ruin both Maher sand Ramza s reputations, she still does not want to give up. She does not wantto go home to her father and forget Maher. Instead, she runs away to find him. The idea of running away excited me into action (177). Ramza does escape oncemore, and runs to Maher. One can see that there was nothing holding thisstrong-willed, resourceful woman back!
Asanyone can see, Ramza s beliefs grow little by little until they reach thepoint where Ramza is old enough to act on them. Even though she loseseverything, her father, her inheritance, and the man she loves, Ramza does notseem to have any regrets on what she did. She had her beliefs, and no matterwhat anyone said or did, she would not go back on them. Even though she probablyonly acts out because she is love sick and can not realize what she is about todo, she realizes the consequences. Ifthere were more women in the world today like Ramza, one would have to admitthat women would have the upper-hand in today s society.