Introspection, female consciousness and the quiet revolution in the novels of Nawal El Saadawi and Mariama Bâ
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This thesis considers introspection and female consciousness in the novels Woman At Point Zero and Two Women In One by Nawal El Saadawi, an Egyptian writer and So Long A Letter and Scarlet Song by Mariama Bâ, a Senegalese writer. This study looks at how narrative technique impacts on questions of self and identity, subjective experience, coherence and transformation. The form of the novel is also highly significant because it shows the connection between form, individualism and consciousness of experience and this is important in understanding these questions of self and identity, subjective experience, coherence and transformation. It allows insight into the internal workings of the individual. The form of the novel is therefore particularly relevant because of the focus on the individual, subject and the consciousness of the individual. Pertinent to the discussion in this thesis is how narrative provides a creative space to enable the reflexive process and also how narrative contributes to the construction and understanding of the self and identity. The dynamic between narratology and novel form, on the one hand, the modes of confession and letter writing, on the other are considered both of which use first person narration.Confession as a genre of personal narrative enables the subject to move inward as part of the self reflection process which allows knowledge of the self. Letter writing a form of personal narrative plays an important role in the exploration of the self and identity.The novel in letter form forces the introspective process through the act of writing and the character reaches a realisation about events and experiences which have shaped her present consciousness. By contrast third person narration in Scarlet Song and Two Women In One foregrounds the social context which shapes the characters‟ sense of self and identity and worldview. The narrative which is rebellious and resistant in form,although quietly so, enables a “revolution” in the character‟s self- and world view.