Mernissi Dreams Of Trespass English Literature Essay

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Mernissi grew up in the Islam faith that shaped the civilization, norms and values of her society. She was taught of these values and norms by her female parent and grandma. These values and norms are what guided the behavior of adult females and work forces. Harmonizing to Mernissi 1 could non eat whenever he/she wants and even her grandma, Yasima, had to portion her hubby with other eight adult females. Religion gave both freedom and limitations. As a small girl Mernissi did non understand many things about the society she lived in and was invariably inquiring inquiries.

Harem was Mernissi ‘s chief frontier as was for most other adult females in the novel. The fact that one had to seek permission to walk outside the gate of their house made Mernissi experience that their house was a definite frontier. She farther explains that stepping out of the gate had a process ( Mernissi, 21 ) . Womans were intimidated and lacked even the basic freedom of motion. As Mernissi plays outside and haves merriment with her cousins, she realizes the adult females of Harem suffocated in stale air of their houses. They could non travel outside their house gates at will to bask the freedom of life outside their houses. They longed so much for the freedom but the unobserved boundaries of Harem could ne’er allow them. Her female parent longed to populate entirely with her hubby and kids. “ Whoever heard of 10 birds populating together squashed into a individual nest? ” her female parent would state ( Mernissi 77 ) . Harmonizing to Mernissi ‘s female parent, hareem is merely doing adult females live in wretchedness. She says “ It is non natural to populate in a big group, unless your aim is to do people experience suffering. ” ( Mernissi 77 ) . Many households have to populate together all fighting for individualism. In this province it was hard for one to hold privateness or even liberty. Her grandma wants for the twenty-four hours that adult females will no longer hold to portion their hubbies with other adult females. Having co-wives it would take at least eight darks before she could embrace or cuddle her hubby.

Harem besides has its frontiers in the work environment. Both work forces and adult females work indefatigably till late dark but merely work forces earn money. As a consequence adult females have merely to trust on their hubby since they do n’t hold economic independency. Mernissi ‘s grandma tries to assist her addition some understanding about Harem. Harmonizing to her there exist several Harems in assorted positions. She feels that the regulations of Harem were made to deprive adult females in some manner and even thinks it is so because they are non made by adult females.


The Gallic started colonising Morocco in 1912. They used indirect regulation which harmonizing to colonialist mind and decision maker, was aimed at working together with native political elites and esteem pre-colonial imposts and traditions ( Gershovich 64 ) . The pact of Fez established the Gallic associated state in Morocco. The associated state did non include the northern portion of the state because it was a Spanish associated state. After the sign language of the pact, the associated state continued to be a autonomous province. However the grand Turk merely reigned and ne’er ruled.

Gallic civil retainers associated themselves with the Gallic colonists and with support of France they resisted any move geared towards the independency of Morocco. The Gallic authorities encouraged economic development, particularly the development of Morocco ‘s mineral resources, the debut of a modern transit, and the development of a modern agribusiness sector tailored to the Gallic market. Settlers entered Morocco in their Tens of 1000s and bought up big packages of the state ‘s fertile agricultural land.


In January 1944 Moroccan nationalist motion was started with creative activity of Istiqlal party ( Chenoweth, 163 ) . It was the first organisation in Gallic Morocco to get down recommending openly for independency of their state and gender equality. Between 1944-52, it was the dominant voice of Maroc patriotism. It carried out peaceable protests and diplomatic negotiations in their protagonism of Maroc independency. The Maroc patriots wanted freedom and equal rights. However the peaceable ways of protagonism were abandoned for force in 1952 all through 1956 when the state gained independency. The force stemmed from the high figure of colonists and Gallic determination to expatriate the Moroccan Sultan ( Duiker & A ; Jackson 632 )

Merely like Maroc patriots who wanted freedom and equal rights, adult females in hareem every bit good urgently needed freedom and equal rights as their male opposite numbers. Many adult females and some work forces tried in different ways to arise against the oppressive regulations of hareem. They drew their inspiration from “ patriots ‘ battle against Gallic regulation ” ( Henry, 68 ) . The fresh depicts different cases where assorted characters staged rebellion against hareem. When Mernissi ‘s female parent gave birth to a babe miss she accorded her exultation equal to that of a male child kid. She even claimed that male laterality was nonsensical and anti-Muslim.

Yasima, Mernissi ‘s grandma lived in a spot free environment. She lived on a farm at least could entree out-of-doorss freely. However, she excessively was caught up in a Harem and longed for release. She farmed and rode Equus caballuss. To demo her quest for freedom she even redesigned her vesture to let for extra freedom of motion. She told Fatima that the yearss were shortly coming when work forces would get married merely one married woman and adult females would be able to acquire equal instruction. In another case of rebellion, her cousin Chama and Aunt Habiba performed luxuriant dramas in jubilation of outstanding adult females ‘s lives. Womans and kids of the hareem ( and sometimes the immature work forces ) participated as production crew or made the audience.

Although the adult females identified the nature and limitations of their power and the opportunities for alteration, they did non give up on their dreams. The adult females ever dreamed of trespassing and looked for a twenty-four hours when they will be able to research the universe beyond the gate ( Mernissi 1 ) . This was the overall end of the adult females ‘s rebellion. More of import to the adult females was how to accomplish their end: they made an heroic act by facing Ahmed, the gatekeeper, at the gate.

Cultural hybridity

All through the fresh Arab adult females are depicted to be fighting to continue some facets of their tradition as they emerge into a modern and more broad universe. Fatma ‘s aunt Habiba is a great narrative Teller. Through her narratives she is able base on balls on the good traditions every bit good as dispels the oppressive traditions and suggest taking over of the western civilization. Oral tradition is really of import among the Arabs. It unfolds universes, creates assortment, and offers inspiration and sensualness ( Henry 68 ) . Fatima ‘s Aunt Habiba, through her narratives could take her hearers across the universe. Harmonizing to her dreams can alter one ‘s life, and eventually the universe. She says that Liberation begins with images dancing in one ‘s little caput, and can be translated into words. She uses unwritten tradition of the Arabs to recommend for the adult females ‘s rights. She asserts that words cost nil ( Mernissi 113 ) .

The adult females of hareem aped so much from the Gallic actresses. In their free clip they could bob their hair like some celebrated Gallic actresses. They could besides garner for dramas during their free clip. Fatma ‘s cousin Chama and Aunt Habiba performed luxuriant dramas observing celebrated adult females ‘s lives. The dramas many at times featured feminist militants.

Gender issues

Mernissi ‘s grandma taught her the different reading of q-uran about the duties that shaped work forces and adult females in the society. The regulations harmonizing to Yasima were oppressive of adult females. Work force could get married as many married womans as they wanted. Even at work merely work forces received money although adult females worked every bit hard. Although most adult females like Yasima did non like the tradition, they had no pick but be capable to it.

Womans of hareem were ever restricted to the outside universe. The tribunals were guarded by the gate keeper to guarantee that adult females of hareem did non travel outside the gate. They could non travel out shopping at the local market on their ain like the Gallic adult females. Yasima envies the Gallic adult females who are ne’er imprisoned by their hubbies behind walls. Once every twelvemonth the full family used to travel out to Oued Fez for field day. In the trip, “ of import ” grownups rode on autos while the kids and less of import grownups like divorced aunts were rode in a truck hired for the field day. This shows how the society upheld work forces in high regard than adult females. A birth of a babe miss was usually received with lesser exultation than the male kid. Few adult females received instruction than work forces and this makes Yasima feel that it was a major lending factor to adult females staying in hareem. She believes that a clip would come when adult females would be every bit educated as work forces.


Fatma Mernissi through her fresh “ Dreams of Trespass ” explains the lives of Muslim adult females. The readers are able to understand the power that harem adult females possess and challenges they face. The adult females of hareem are caught between keeping their tradition and emerging modern and broad universe. The adult females of hareem are unhappy with the regulations of hareem and fighting to obtain freedom. The regulations of hareem deny adult females the freedom of motion. They besides portion their hubbies with other adult females like Yasima who has to wait for eight darks before she could embrace and cuddle her hubby. However adult females of hareem would non go on populating within the frontiers of hareem. Fatma ‘s cousin Chama and her aunt Habiba performed dramas to the adult females of hareem picturing scenes of the sleeping room and even having feminist militants. Fatma ‘s grandma redesigns her vesture to let for more freedom. The adult females of hareem besides confront Ahmed the gatekeeper.