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Chapter two of Naguib Mahfouz's Midaq Alley contains many quotes which illustrate feminism (the support of women's rights based upon political, social, and economic equality to men).
Perhaps the most commonly said thing about her [Hamida] was that she hated children and that this unnatural trait made her wild and totally lacking in the virtues of femininity.
This quote illustrates the idea that Hamida does not depict the typical female. She is characterized as one who desires power, influence, and money.
The luxurious clothes stirred in her greedy and ambitious mind bewitching dreams of power and influence. Anyone could have told her that her yearning for power centered on her love for money.
Hamida is characterized as a woman who wishes for power and money, not to be tied down by "suckling children." In all ways, Hamida contrasts the typical idea of what an Egyptian woman should act and be like.
The quotes above illustrate that Hamida does not wish for the typical life of an Egyptian woman. She does not wish to live under the control of a "tyrannical husband." She desires more in life than taking care of children and possessing the "virtues of femininity."
Hamida's death in the end, at the hands of the soldiers, proves illustrative of what may happen to woman who try to go against what society defines as expected of women.
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