Clear Light of Day

Intersectionality in Literature from Postcolonial Countries College

Sacrifice in women’s writing often revolves around two different definitions of the word. The first definition is to voluntarily give something up of value, while the second definition is to offer or kill, often in a ceremonial fashion. Women’s writing has a recurring motif of sacrifice where female characters are the object of a sacrifice or sacrifice something of their own, and in either case these sacrifices are usually overseen or ordered by men for the benefit of men. What differs, however, is the nature of women’s sacrifice and this difference is often dependent on their individual circumstances, these circumstances creating different environments and practices for the treatment of women. In Anita Desai’s Clear Light of Day, for example, the Indian middle class Bimla Das partially sacrifices her autonomy to care for her autistic brother. Contrastingly, in Ahdaf Soueif’s Aisha the Egyptian lower class Zeina is sacrificed through the practice of child marriage. These two texts show that the nature of a woman’s sacrifice is dependent on her individual circumstance. This essay will argue that Clear Light of Day and Aisha exemplify how an individual’s circumstances in life change the meaning of sacrifice in relation to women,...

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