Oriental Feminism: A Case Study of Aliya in Sorayya Khan’s City of Spies

Tooba Sabir

Abstract


Oriental feminism cannot be understood without understanding the wider perspective of Orientalism. Orientalism is way through which the West controls the East by creating and controlling knowledge and power. The Orientals are represented as weak, stupid, mysterious, ferocious, barbaric, uncivilized’ and incapable of self-representation, therefore, they must be represented and ruled over by the Orientalists. Feminist Orientalism poses that Oriental women are oppressed and de-humanized by their male counterparts, therefore, they need Orientalists to save them from the Oriental men. Through thematic analysis, of the text City of Spies,’ the character of Aliya—the protagonist, was analyzed for themes regarding Oriental Feminism. It was observed that Aliya’s portrayal complies with the representation of Oriental women being timid, stupid, male-power fantasy and objects of intimacy and thus, in contrast with the Orientalist females who are powerful, and headstrong. It was concluded that the novel, through contrasting Aliya with Lizzy and Anne Simon, creates the binary between the two worlds, hence stressing on the inferiority of Oriental—Aliya and superiority of Orientalists— Lizzy and Anne Simon.

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