I am having a hard time analyzing the role of women in Aladdin and Other Tales from the Arabian Nights. How do the women in each of the stories overcome adversity?
The dominant characteristic of women in these stories that allows them to overcome adversity is their quick wit, keen intelligence and adaptability.
This is evident in Aladdin's mother at the very outset of the story. Her husband dies and her young son, younger than fifteen t this point in the story, is a "rascal" who cannot be controlled and set to doing productive work. Rather than the two of them starving and dying, Aladdin's mother sells her husbands tailoring business, shop and supplies and turns her own hand to "cotton-spinning" (thread spinning) to "support herself and her child."
She thinks resolutely, uses her with to come up with a plan and her intelligence to successfully execute a plan, even one disadvantageous socially, to adapt and thereby keep herself and her rascal son alive.