Imprisoned Womanhood in Nawal El Saadawi's Woman at Point Zero and Tehmina Durrani's Blasphemy: A Comparative Study


  • Pankhuri Singh Research Scholar, Department of Languages, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, Integral University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Dr. Syed Wahaj Mohsin Associate Professor (Jr.), Department of Languages, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Integral University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India



Imprisoned, subjugation, patriarchy, degradation.


The prism of female writing has expanded itself in the current scenario. Contemporary writers have broken all the shackles of the feudal society and have come forward to make people aware of the ubiquitous and distressing condition of women. The unapologetic and unabashedly realistic portrayal of women bound in the shackles of caste and gender in Tehmina Durrani’s Blasphemy and Nawal El Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero brings to surface some of the major issues concerning women’s plight. The issues of captivity, matrimony, violence, subjugation and sexism are delineated with prowess. Blasphemy and Woman at Point Zero through the narratives of their protagonists Heer and Firdaus disclose religious and patriarchal norms as a tool to subjugate and oppress women in an orthodox society. Tehmina Durrani’s Blasphemy depicts how distorted Islamic family code of conduct is thrust upon women compelling them to cohere to fundamental values of wedlock, motherhood, servitude and domesticity. Heer becomes a prisoner in her own haveli after her marriage to Pir Sain. Whereas Nawal El Saadawi in Woman at Point Zero portrays the captive life of Firdaus who is a female prisoner, waiting for her execution. The female characters demonstrate how the social, cultural and political structures are responsible for their captivity, degradation and violation.

The present paper attempts to critically study and draw comparison between the two female protagonists. Heer and Firdaus turn captives in the haveli and prison respectively, but eventually they rip off the fake mask of the society which claims to protect women behind the veil of hypocrisy, strangulating even their basic right to be treated as a human.


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Durrani, Tehmina. Blasphemy: A Novel. New Delhi: Penguin, 1999. Print.

El Saadawi, Nawal. Woman at Point Zero. Trans. Sherif Hatata.1983. London: Zed Books, 2007. Print.

Horst, Adele Newson., ed. Preface. The Essential Nawal El Saadawi: A Reader. New York: Zed Books, 2010. xi-xvii. Print.

Mansab, Faiqa. This House of Clay and Water. India: Penguin Random House, 2017. Print.




How to Cite

Singh, P., & Mohsin, D. S. W. . (2020). Imprisoned Womanhood in Nawal El Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero and Tehmina Durrani’s Blasphemy: A Comparative Study. SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 8(9), 63–73.