عنوان مقاله [English]
The limitations and prohibitions affecting women’s writing during history have taken form in parallel with the restriction of women’s lives to the indoors and have, thus, become institutionalized. Even though fictional literature in Iran was formed in the modern period, it was dominated by the patriarchal discourse, nonetheless. Women’s fiction mainly included the reproduction of gender clichés. Since the 1990s, along with the quality and quantity of the developments in women’s novel writing, the growth of information and education, women’s further presence in society as well as the gradual change of their position in the fields of economy and culture, the knowledge created in women’s fictional literature has established a new form of authority and changed the equation of power from a unilateral action to a mutual one. Women writers have introduced new statements into fictional literature as a real issue, and have produced knowledge leading to a kind of resistance against predominant and settled power. They use the reverse processes which reproduce the distinction between ‘true’ and ‘false’ statements. This paper analyzes and interprets the conceptual data of ten famous and successful novels by female authors in two decades, and studies the change in the concept of power in these novels. The most important actions aiming at female power reproduced in the Persian novel during these decades are: challenges to the traditional patriarchal power structures, the expression of emotional rejection in matrimonial life, difference in maternal methods and the definition of the domestic woman, the kitchen as the main center of power in the house, the femininization of urban spaces, the change of gender roles and clichés and diversity of forms of family life. These elements have led the relations of power from a one-dimensional perspective to an interactive one in Iranian fictional literature.
Limitations women have faced throughout history, along with their minor role in society, have become institutionalized. Although fiction writing developed in Iran in the modern era, the masculine discourse has always dominated it. Fiction by women writers has been predominantly a reproduction of gender clichés. Since the 1990s, as the awareness of women of their status increased and they started to play a more active role in society and gained a better cultural and economic status, they have produced numerous novels of high quality, through which new forms of power have been developed, changing the power relations into an interactive action rather than a one-way one.
2. Theoretical Framework
In the present study, gender and power are the main foci of attention and Foucault’s ideas about power, which according to him is a network of relations that constantly interact with different actors, are employed.
In the present article, data from ten successful novels dealing with power are analyzed in order to explore the changes in how power is commonly perceived. The novels studied here deal with different aspects of power and women’s influence, through which the power shift in the feminine discourse in novel writing can be analyzed.
Women introduced a new proposition into fiction, which has led to the development of a kind of resistance to the dominant power. In this article, conceptual data from ten successful novels by female novelists in the past two decades have been analyzed to examine changes in the concept of power in these novels. Among the most important themes concerning the power of women reproduced in Persian novels in the past two decades are challenges to the traditional structures of patriarchal power, feelings of emotional rejection in married life, differences in definition of femininity, kitchen as the core of power at home, femininity of urban spaces, changes in gender roles and clichés and the variety of family forms.
Concepts such as hegemony, suppression of women and resistance developed in the novels by women novelists in the 1990s and 2000s. The presence of women, as the “other”, explained their perception of reality and challenged the analysis of social behavior and discourse of power. The feminine attitude toward being and human relations and the reproduction of feminine knowledge have resulted in the development of new situations that create new forms of behavior. Women have a closer look at human relations and attach more importance to interpersonal relationships in family life in their novels. The discourse created by women, which revolves around private life and unhealthy power relations in the traditional culture, has focused on revealing problems in the norms of power relations and highlighted incorrect concepts in a way that their pre-determined coherence and rationality have been disrupted.