Another Evening by the Club is one of Alifa Raat’s stories in the book Beauty Priced It for Dowry, and it tells the story of a couple named Samia and Bey. Samia comes from a poor household, but her father was able to find her a rich husband to marry because of her appearance. “Beauty priced it for dowry,” the author says (Bruner, 1994, p. 54). She is, though, a naive woman who just does what she is told. Her thinking is limited, and her visibility is inadequate. The plot starts when Samia misplaces a ring given to her when they wed. On that day, they went to drink, came back, and she removed all the jewelry from her body. She later discovered that she had lost her ring. They both suspect their house cleaner and they lay her off. A day later, she finds the ring, convinces the husband to bring back the house cleaner, but he refuses. Samia’s thoughts change at time she notices the little respect she has for her husband. These events roll out, and it becomes apparent how little a woman is of value to the family. It is this realization by Samia that this paper focuses on. This essay explores the changes Samia makes towards the end of the story, as she realizes her values in the family and community and connects with the situation of women in the community where she lived.
Samia gains sense of thought and cognition to her life as the story end. She realizes that the husband lacks understanding of what she says. In one instance, she cannot be allowed to hold her stand and keep to her decisions. She refuses to drink alcohol during their day out but Bey forces her to take a few sips, without acknowledging her unfamiliarity with alcohol (Rifaat, 1999). After drinking, she gets tipsy and loses reasoning. Her ring is lost and she suspects her maid. Her husband cannot understand why she lost the ring, chases the house help, and fails to bring her back when the ring is found (Rifaat, 1999). Within her, Samia feels “a slap to the face” (Bruner, 1994, p. 57). These instances show how the wife (Samia) had no powers to convince her husband. It is not that she lacked the reasoning, but the society subjects her into the life that has no respect for women.
Throughout her life, Samia has few choices to make. It is evident from the beginning of the story that she cannot choose even her husband. Her father does that on her behalf. In that situation, it becomes difficult for her to carry out any important activity to run the family. Most decisions are made on her behalf, and this kind of relationship puts her into difficulties. Her husband also forces her to lie about their family background as a source of prestige to other people. She has to say at the club that she is “a wealthy woman from a Baraket family” (Bruner, 1994, p. 55). These instances shows the little freedom a woman has in a society, which cannot allow her choose a husband and must tell a lie about her situation and life. If all women in her society went through this, then it shows how their situations are desperate and need changes for their safety and proper life.
Samia realizes many things in her life, which makes is easy to change in future. She is getting the sense about her roles and other duties she can perform as a woman. Besides these is her freedom as a grown up woman. It is disappointing to notice the low value she has to the society, with the husband dictating all she has to do and the society redefining all her steps. Typically, individuals tend to change when they realize their values in life and reasons to be independent of external forces in societies. When people change, their lives become different as they begin doing things according to their thoughts. That is the same case as Samia. Additionally, changing what the society decided long ago is not simple. Humiliation and discrimination crops in. Samia’s life with the husband is likely to be rough when she demands some acknowledgment and roles as a wife. She needs to be an equal partner and not a subject to some unscrupulous rule. In the event she does not change, she becomes vulnerable to the roles of the society.
Women in most societies are in similar situations like Samia: to act under the influence of their husband and societies’ rules. When they have no roles in families nor can convince their husbands who claim to love them, a good number end up being vulnerable to dictatorship. There are ways in which women face tyranny. Several are forced to be procreators only and cannot participate in doing anything better in the family. Some cannot have the chance to get an education and have active careers. In certain societies, even political positions are not for women. These stressful situations are the same ones in Samia’s case. The world needs to recognize the roles of women as equal human beings. Noting these roles can bring some changes on the kinds of relationship a society defines between a husband and a wife. It is, however, difficult to change such societies, as it is a mindset already developed. If it has been in practice for long, it becomes difficult to change. Communities may need to work extra hard to alter the roles of women and realize their importance in society.
In conclusion, Samia faces harsh rules in the story. She cannot decide many things regarding the man she is to marry. They include where they are staying and the things they can do together. Events unroll when she loses her marriage ring. The police booked her house help and taken to prison just before she finds the ring. She unsuccessfully tries to convince the husband to bring her back but fails. In several instances, she is under dictation to do things her husband wants. Later, she realizes her roles as a wife and notices the extent to which the society has made her have a difficult life. From the events of the story, women are portrayed as subjects to unfavorable rules in the society. Changing this type of negative view about women requires time and hard work in the society.
Bruner, C. H. (1994). Unwinding threads: Writing by women in Africa. Oxford, United Kingdom. Heinemann.
Rifaat, Alifa. (1999). Another evening at the club. In Inside Stories. Glen Kirkland and Richard Davies (eds.). Toronto: Harcourt Canada, 255-261.
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