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Naguib Mahfouz: A Western and Eastern Cage of Female Entrapment By Pamela Allegretto ...

Chapter 1:  Naguib Mahfouz: Western and Islamic Feminist Perspectives
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Naguib Mahfouz:

Chapter One

Naguib Mahfouz: Western and Islamic Feminist Perspectives

Cultural biases often interfere with a reading of fiction and the pleasure of fully appreciating a work of literature. Reading a text written from a different cultural perspective—with its totally different set of values and differing cultural presuppositions—often leaves us muddled or confused. A few common and familiar generalizations illustrate this point. For instance, in the West, males and females customarily date and enjoy courtship before their eventual marriage, whereas in Middle Eastern countries, it is considered immoral for girls to be in the company of males outside their own family. Generally, to accommodate the situation, an introductory meeting is held with both sets of parents, and if the couple agrees, an engagement takes place and a wedding date set. Another cultural difference: in the West young people often dress provocatively—an impermissible act in the Middle East.