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Narratives Of Alienation And Descent Into Madness

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Chapter Summary

The striking statistical evidence that more women than men suffer from madness, often regardless of nationality, marital status, age, class, or race, and the pervasive cultural representation of madness as a &t;female malady,&t; have stimulated a great deal of feminist scholarship. Some feminist research into madness has focused on the arena of motherhood, exploring topics such as the option and experience of motherhood as a socially constructed institution, the psychodynamics of mothering and gender, and the centrality of the mother-daughter relationship. The body of literature on madness by Arab women writers continues to grow and develop. Fatima and Samya face a choice between a life of confinement and passive domesticity or madness and death. For both, the journey toward womanhood brings the individual self into conflict with the family and the wider society.

Keywords: Fatima; madness; mother-daughter relationship; Samya; society; woman



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