Marriage And Polygamy Analysis

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Representations associated with marriage and polygamy
Marriage in Arabic culture reflects how the religious and social factors are linked to each other. Therefore, religious rituals and social traditions penetrate the whole process of getting married. In the novel under study, there are many terms associated with marriage and many of them pose certain problems in translation. The difficulties of translating such terms are due to the overlapping of social and religious factors in the Arab world in general and the Islamic world in particular. Social customs, cultural values, and, most importantly, religious rules and conditions make the procedures of marriage and divorce highly complex. Without a total understanding of these issues, the translator
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Hatte sie nicht ihr ganzes Leben vergeudet? Was hatte sie in den letzten Jahren eigentlich dafür getan, um jetzt mit funftzig nicht allein and einsam zu sein? (Machfus. trans. Kilias 2015:33)

Both translations of Gassick and Kilias are functionally and communicatively successful, but the difference between Arabic culture and Anglo-American and German cultures results in a loss with reference to the source culture’s attitude towards marriage. It is clear from the text that, for a woman, nothing can replace marriage and the tranquility of marriage, but the target reader may view this differently, depending on his/her culture. From a religious point of view, marriage is desirable and is viewed by Muslims as one-half of religion. In the following excerpt, marriage is looked at from a religious point of view:

كيف يعيبك ماهو شرع وحق! أنت ست عاقلة شريفة، والكل يشهد بذلك، فالزواج نصف الدين يا حبيبتي، وربنا شرعه حكمة، و أمر به النبي عليه الصلاة والسلام (Mahfouz 1985:
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Hence, the source and the target readers have a different attitude towards the phrase ‘marriage is one half of the religion’. Mrs. Afify wants to marry, but her prospects do not appear to be very good because she is no longer of child-bearing age. El Saadawi explains that in traditional Egyptian society

[t] he value of a woman deteriorates with age…. The life of a woman is, therefore, less than that of a normal human being, since it only extends over thirty years. Once she no longer has any menstrual periods, her life is considered over, and she is said to have reached Sin El Ya-as (the age of despair or of no hope). (El Saadawi 1989: 78)

What is the motivation of a woman to get married after spending a decade being adamant that marriage brings nothing but misery? How will it be possible for Umm Hamida to find her a husband? Despite her insistence that she is younger, has reached the age of ‘Sin El Ya-as’ meaning the menopause period. It appears that over the years, Mrs. Saniyya Afify has found herself increasingly isolated from society. Despite her wealth, she has no social status because she is an unmarried woman. In this regard, Wédad Zenie-Ziegler in reference to Egyptian women states
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