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In the Country of Men

In: English and Literature

Submitted By tomchristiansen
Words 679
Pages 3
“How does the dominance of men affect Suleiman” Suleiman is raised in the male dominated Libyan culture, yet he develops an interesting view of both his role as a man and the role of women around him. As a young, innocent character Suleiman is perplexed by the stories he hears from older men about women and does not instinctively agree with the morality of masculine dominance. Due to his fathers frequent absence, Suleiman is raised virtually by his mother alone. This lack of a male role model results in him identifying more with the oppressed women around him, rather than developing a strong sense of dominance. Again because of the lack of a male role model, Suleiman feels discontent with himself as a man and desperately hopes to be respected among those respected men in his community.

Suleiman is often told stories about women, and how they are treated by their fathers and husbands, and he is scared and confused in reaction to most of them. Cousins and friends tell him vague explanations about women, ironically intending to guide Suleiman into masculine adulthood. These stories leave Suleiman confused at the inequality of the Libyan culture but also fearful of women as if they had some mythical “curse”. Suleiman is fearfully aware of the ominous role of men, without it being explicitly taught to him. Whilst knew “what a man had to do with his wife” he didn’t quite understand why men were given societal power and freedom whilst women were to simply remain virtuous and do as they’re told. The lack of a strong, consistently engaging male figure contributes to his lack of understanding and also results in his identifying with women, possibly more so than he does men.

Najwa’s impact on Suleiman’s perspective of his culture is immense as she provides an insight to the other side of the spectrum when it comes to dominance. Suleiman is close with his mother,...

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