THE SEARCH OF WOMAN’S PLACE AND FUNCTION IN SHAHRNUSH PARSIPUR’S NOVEL “TOUBA AND THE MEANING OF NIGHT“
Abstract. Since the second half of the 20th century, especially after the Islamic Revolution of Iran, Persian “feminine literature” altered the existing expressive forms and enriched the literary works with more individuality. Besides the themes like social problems, the essence of life, prohibited love and loneliness, female writers started to discuss the issues of revolution, emigration, war and domestic violence. Female writers started to speak about topics that were considered taboo in the patriarchal Iranian society. These issues are topical and popular in the modern world: family relations and gender issues, psychological and physical violence, depression, early marriage and so on. Therefore, the number of readers of contemporary Iranian female writers increases on daily basis.
Shahrnush Parsipur is Iranian emigrant writer, representative of the modern Persian prose, the so-called “feminine literature”. The main aim of her works is to investigate a woman’s inner world.
Shahrnush Parsipur’s novel “Touba and the Meaning of Night“ is a literary description of the 20th century history of Iran. On the background of social-political life of Iran, the author outlines issues related to woman’s rights: the role of the society in defining human fate, woman’s fate in particular; the influence of the society affected by tradition and superstitions on the life and soul of a person; the influence of social-cultural changes gained by the national-liberation movement on women’s rights and their place in the family and society.
What is most important, the writer’s world vision is perfectly reflected in the novel: for Shahrnush Parsipur, feminism is far beyond the struggle for women’s rights or the definition of the function of a woman in the society. The writer views woman as a source of love, light and fertility. This very component adds unique charm to her literary works.
Keywords: Feminine literature, women’s rights, Shahrnush Parsipur, feminism, Persian literature.