27 October 2014

Balancing Unfulfilled Potential with the Demands of Patriarchy

“Biography of an Armenian Schoolgirl” by Naomi Shihab Nye tells a tale of lost chances, empty fate, and life abandoned in the unnecessary demands patriarchies force unto the women in their midst. While the narrator revels in her reveries of one day escaping to a land of liberation, she remains tied to a life in which she is betrothed to a “man with no hair” and purchases her necessities “from the vendor with the humped back.” Although she imagines herself one day flying away like the scattered pages of her thrown textbooks, the protagonist is forever incarcerated in femininity within the Armenian patriarchy, only gazing out at the phantasmagorical scenes beyond her cell window in order to distract herself from her externally validated, yet internally despised, bromidic lifestyle.

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