If someone did not have power in the society, it would be really hard for that person to make a living. In the short story “In Camera” by Nawal El Saadawi, Saadawi used very detailed descriptions and created many images throughout the story. I feel this is a very interesting story, because it keeps my attention on reading further and further to get what is actually happening in the story. After I read the whole story, I finally get that the main character, Leila Al-Fargani, got raped and were suffering from the pain afterward.
Leila Al-Fargani had a very strong living attitude even though she suffered in an injustice world. She were taught that she as a woman did not have power to get a better living, but she used her speech and cursed at whoever was rude to her. She was even so brave to tell that “God is stupid,” while God was in the highest rank during that time. I feel the story can tell people who also feel that the world is injustice to continue living, because we have our family to look after us. Like Leila Al-Fargani had suffered and lived in jail, but she still always think of her family members and wonder how they are doing. She did not have the thought of killing herself, which I think is a positive living attitude to learn from.
When I read on the part which the lawyer was doing his job and helping Leila Al-Fargani to plead and also said “God is stupid,” and faced accusation from the judge. That makes me feel the author was living in a society which had a lot of injustice things going on around her, and many problems were caused from political power. However, I still do not get how the whole story relates to “camera” which is the title of story.
After reading “The Barking” by Ingeborg Bachmann, I feel kind of sad for the old woman, Frau Jordan, who had an undutiful son and did not have close family members to live with her at such old age. I think the living attitude old Frau Jordan held was very common to elders in the society today, because the elders in my family also sometimes act like old Frau Jordan. They always would think what benefit their children instead of thinking what are actually good for themselves. Sometimes, they hide their sickness and act like everything is fine.
I understand they do not want to give more burdens to their children, but I do not think it is a right way to release burden from their children, especially health problems. If an elder was sick without notifying his/her children and suddenly died one day, the children might just cannot accept the fact so suddenly and become stress more than ever. Also, it is children’s duty to take care their parents when their parents get old.Also, old Frau Jordan depends on her only son so she did not want to give additional stress to him. She thought it is better not to bother her son and better not to tell him anything, which led to misunderstanding between her and her son.
I think the title “Barking” is very meaningful. First, it shows one theme in the short story which is lack of communication. Few years before old Frau Jordan died; she lived in a house surrounded by dogs’ barking instead of the laughter of her family which shows her loneliness. It is like the communication that she heard the most was the barking from dogs. Also, when Bachmann described the barking story from “great, wild, triumphant howling to a whimpering” at near the end of the story, I feel there is a foreshadowing of the health of old Frau Jordan. Like the barking, old Frau Jordan was becoming weaker and weaker and near death.