This paper investigates the notion of liberation through insanity in The Story of Zahra by Hanan Al-Shaykh. While many scholars and literary critics have explored domestic violence in literature, and notions of liberation through sexuality in The Story of Zahra by Hanan Al-Shaykh, the impact of domestic violence has not been addressed as a triggering factor in The Story of Zahra by Hanan Al-Shaykh which leads to liberation acted out in the context of madness has not been addressed. In order to investigate these aspects in the novel, I draw on the views of post-modern feminist literary criticism. This literary approach is crucial to highlighting the gender inequality.The analytical approach I follow is that of thematic analysis. I mainly highlight the recurrent themes of physical violence and insanity. Then, I return to the content of the novel to support my argument about the association between insanity and liberation. Thus, I address three main issues: Domestic violence types and definitions, feminist theoretical views in relation to patriarchal authority, and notions of insanity in relation to liberation in feminist post-modern literary criticism. My main argument is that insanity is utilized as a tool directed towards liberation from male authority and oppression towards women; hence, the need arises to replace the recurrent term 'madness ' in The Story of Zahra by Hanan Al-Shaykh with 'mental rebellion against male control and oppression '.
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