Theme of Oppression of Women in Naguib Mahfouz's Realistic Novels: An Analytical Study

18 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2018

Date Written: May 28, 2018


It is in his realistic novels that Mahfouz unequivocally voices his views on violence against women, views to which he remains loyal till the end of his life. The main objective is to deal with the theme of oppression of women in selected novels that Mahfouz wrote in the 1940s and early 1950s. The significance of the study lies in its attempt to link the past with the present. The study tries to show how Mahfouz's realistic novels are contemporary and relevant because they deal with issues that are contemporary and relevant. The researcher used the analytical method to achieve this aim. Several female characters from New Cairo, Beginning and End, Middaq Alley, and the Cairo Trilogy are selected as examples of women who are subjected to exploitation and oppression. These women stand for the submissive wife, the self-sacrificing woman, the ambitious woman, and the new woman. The study is divided into sections based on this classification in order to fully understand the various types of oppression faced by women in a Middle-eastern society. The stories of these women are examined and analysed in light of the socio-political conditions at the time and Mahfouz's views on women and their place in society. The conclusion is in the form of a list of the important lessons we learn from Mahfouz's treatment of the theme of oppression of women. It is through these findings that the study links the past with the present.

Suggested Citation

Hezam, Abdulrahman Mokbel, Theme of Oppression of Women in Naguib Mahfouz's Realistic Novels: An Analytical Study (May 28, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Abdulrahman Mokbel Hezam (Contact Author)

Taibah University ( email )

Prince Naif Ibn Abdulaziz, Tayba, Medina Saudi Ara
Mediana, Madinah
Saudi Arabia

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