The Analysis Of The Novel “Ebla” By Farah
There is a division in maintaining animals, goats for girls and camels for boys, “Even a moron-male cost twice as much as two women in terms of blood compensation” (FCR 11). Equality is buried in the ground in Somali society. Ebla is unique, not only in her look but also in her thinking. She is a woman who thinks far beyond the imagination of any of the women who lives in her society. Ebla thinks about leaving her home and make a living as she wishes. The primary importance in given to herself while she thinks.
Ebla’s concern for the old man was lacking considering that it is not her devoir to persistence and solicitude for him. Flying away from all the responsibilities and freeing oneself was established in the activities of Ebla by Farah. The novel is centrally concerned with the relations to family, domesticity, and identity. Ebla, her life was confined in the Jes before she came to town.
Her identity exists within this group by doing her daily routines like loading and unloading camels and donkeys after they reach their place. A pastoral community, that domestic space-bound her within their social conventions. She wanted to escape, “from the country to a town, and from there to Mogadiscio… ‘Come what may, I am going to stick to Mogadiscio, until doomsday,’ she thought”(FCR123).
Ebla’s brother had a weird look on the people in the town, he finds the difference between country and town. He dislikes the way the people behave, their dressing and the noise they make in the town. He finds his identity in his place and he cannot accept certain things that which he is not experienced. Ebla is comfortable with the town or city life as she will accept to free her from the country. Ebla, in creating her own identity that suits to live within society, refuses her old identity as a nomadic girl, which was created by her people. Twice she rejected the husbands chosen by others for her and she chose one for herself and got married to. She is trained by Asha in how to make money out of marriage.
Female circumcision is practiced in almost all over the country in Africa. Farah focuses on the trauma of female circumcision and explicit the process of circumcision through the eyes of Ebla. The clinical description was given by Ebla. Ebla saw a small girl and the blood on her dress, she recollected her sympathetic past when she was a girl who is circumcised with that of other girls. This sympathetic past took her to the recent past when her Virginity was broken by Awill and the pain she had to endure as a woman. Farah constantly represents that circumcision is a painful process and that women will face harmful consequences throughout their life.
Patriarchy is challenged when Farah supports the Women’s issues. The discrimination between the sexes in various ways is abhorred by Ebla. Ableism benefitted the male than the female. The customary laws in Islamic practices exclude women from participating in legal conversations , their right to speak was declined and opinions were not accepted.
Opinions should be valued in her point of view or at least they must be taken into account from consideration, “to her refusal did not matter. Neither would a positive answer make her pleased. But acceptance of her opinions, both by her relations and her would-be husbands , did make her pleased”(FCR 7). If her opinions were counted before hands were handed over to Giumelah by her grandfather, Ebla’s plan of eloping to Belet Wene would have lead to a conclusion. Ebla escapes to the town of Belet Wene.
Gheddi, a cousin Ebla, his house in which she resides. She took care of his household activities, wife, and their daughter. A neighbor, widow accompanies her when she needs company. During Gheddi’s involvement in smuggling, he was caught by police. To escape from the trouble, he made a contract with his friend, a broker. As an exchange he promises her hand in marriage with a broker in exchange for money that he borrowed without Eblas knowledge. To meet up with their selfish needs, women are used like Ebla as a tool by patriarchal society.
The widow for the next door has come to rescue Ebla from the current situation informing, her cousin promised her hand in marriage with a broker who had tuberculosis. The widow is moved by the plight of Ebla. The widow told Ebla to call off the wedding, but Aowralla, the wife of Gheddi forces to abide by the rules of her husband and told Ebla to get married to the TB patient, Dirir. Aowralla insists upon to have further conversation with her husband in a rude manner.
The widow suggested her to go to Mogadiscio to find an eligible Bachelor for her and get married to him. Ebla laments the fate of womanhood in these lines: “But that is what we women are- just like cattle, properties of someone or other, either your parents or your husband…We are human beings…But our people don‟t realize it. What is the difference between a cow and yourself now? Your hand has been sold to a broker (FCR 80).”
Whenever Ebla tried to move forward in the patriarchal society, her liberty is spoiled in every possible attempt by the male characters in the novel. She took the advice of the widow and she decided to propose Awill to marry her, widow’s nephew, an employee of an Italian colonial service. She feels that “I don’t want to be sold like cattle. I won’t marry a broker. Unless I choose him” (FCR 72).
Ebla assumes about Awill that he is an educated man and his treatment on her would not be harsh comparing to the men in her community, and the barbarous attitude that countrymen had is not identified in him as he is educated. if he is not decent or very rude towards her she thought that she has the capability to change him by all means.
Ebla’s assumption is failed in her examination of Awill. As their wedding is not taking place she brushed-off his advances. She constantly refused at first but she is convinced by Awill and then he uses her as a punching bag on the very first night. Although he is educated he came from the same traditional background and patriarchal society to demolish the being of women. The character of Awill is brutal and he is the example of mean sex as asserted by Farah. Even though she pleaded him, he acts against the will of Ebla. According to Ebla, his is worse than an animal. This was depicted in the following lines:
“ To Ebla, Awill was a bad example of male sex. He acted more like a donkey, as far as the satisfaction of his animal desires were concerned, ‘Copulation is a means of getting children,’ she thought. ‘But this is not the only thing that a man shares with his woman. Men should consider that the existence of a woman is not just the means to an end, but that she can be an indispensable companion for life.” (FCR 94)
According to Ebla this is an unfortunate incident, even though if it is fortunate, the women in Somalia won’t fight back to get their freedom. They are being salved and Ebla too accepts Awill’s words and she suffers later. The author denotes, male domination, and oppression is common and Ebla accepts the conception that of being a slave under the men. She accepts the status that has been given by the patriarchal society and she did not make any move to stop that oppression that’s he faced when Awill forces her.
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