restricted access From Flat to Round Men: Male Characters in Saudi Women’s Fiction
Abstract

Saudi fiction written by women reflects the rapid changes witnessed by Saudi Arabia as a result of oil wealth and globalization. Increased education and work opportunities, exposure to the outside world, and a better awareness of the cultural and political dynamics at work in society have enriched Saudi women’s literary expression and perception of character. In portraying male characters, women have increasingly steered away from flat, stereotyped, and preconceived notions of men to more balanced and informed representations of men’s behaviors and positions in society. Saudi women challenge gender expectations and undermine conventional concepts of masculinity by creating a variety of male images, such as the liberal-minded individual, the frustrated intellectual, the sexually disoriented male, the business tycoon, the hapless immigrant, and the Islamic jihadist—all as products of cultural, religious, and political systems underpinning Saudi society.


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