Doris Hambuch deposited To Want and Want Not: Manifestations of Desire in “Barbie-Q” by Sandra Cisneros and الأريكة (“The Couch”) by فاطمة حمد المزروعي (Fatima Hamad Al Mazrouei) on MLA Commons 4 years, 9 months ago
“Barbie-Q” (1991) by Chicana Sandra Cisneros and “The Couch” (2010) by Emirati Fatima H. Al Mazrouei lend themselves to a comparative study for several reasons. Both short stories present female narrators who desire the object identified in the title of each story. In each story, this item carries significant symbolic value. Both poetic prose texts offer an implicit critique on (post)modern consumerism, and both also weave this critique into a context of female body image and the beauty myth manifested in Naomi Wolf’s book by the same title (1991). Departing from a philosophical understanding of “desire,” and encouraging a constructive dialogue between so-called “Western” and non-Western feminist discourse, this essay accounts for implications the diverse representations of female desire have for their contrasting cultural contexts. It highlight ways in which increasingly urgent transcultural or cosmopolitan feminist discourse could function more fruitfully.