Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews December 9, 2023
December 2, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
See discount terms and conditions.
Firdaus is a woman struggling to live a dignified life in a society in
which women have limited options. Throughout the book, Firdaus fights not just
to be in control of her own destiny but also to figure out who she is. But she
has little time to devote to self-exploration. The scene in Bayoumi’s coffee
shop is an example of this. Bayoumi asks Firdaus whether she wants oranges or
tangerines, and Firdaus is unable to answer him, having never considered whether
she might like one thing more than another. For most of her life, it has never
been important what she wanted. What was important was what the
men around her wanted. And as Firdaus tells it, all of the men around her are
brutes who exult in the power that they have over women. To some extent,
Firdaus’s life becomes about living in opposition to the men in her life. Taking
pleasure from a relationship with men is never really an option for her. This is
partially because she needs to be treated like an equal, which never happens,
but also because of her clitoridectomy. This procedure robs her of pleasure
By the time Firdaus becomes a prostitute, she has discovered that she can
exploit the desire that many men have for her by getting money for it. She
learns that people with money can also command respect. But having money and
commanding respect do not make Firdaus feel respectable. To someone who dreamed
of studying and becoming a scholar, the life of a prostitute is disappointing
and demeaning, yet Firdaus also suggests that the life of a prostitute might be
a surer path to dignity and self-determination than the “respectable” life of an
office assistant. At least as a prostitute Firdaus need not show deference
toward even the most powerful of men.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Woman at Point Zero!