Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Brief analysis of 'The Power' by Naomi Alderman

The term 'The Power' has 3 connotations that make up the essence of this novel. Firstly, The Power refers to the electric power that the girls and women possess in this novel. Secondly, The Power refers to the position that a person has in relation to society. Thirdly, The Power refers to an ideology, which is feminism, which can give someone or a group to be liberated and do whatever their female souls desire.

In literal sense, the girls and women in this book possess a power that could electrocute humans. The electricity comes out from their fingertips. In this novel, readers could see how this sudden gift that they’ve discovered could first be used to teach the bad men a lesson but towards the end, it turns into a curse whereby when possessing such power, one could get carried away with utilizing them and in the end, it is used to destroy not only bad men but also innocent ones. 

When women manage to break the glass ceiling and be a leader in politics, of course they have the power to make decisions. Margot and Tatiana represent this aspect of the novel. Margot represents political figures who carefully weighs and the pros and cons of her power in making decisions. With ‘The Power’ that the girls and women have, she somehow knew that it could be misused. She foresees the consequences that could come with it. Tatiana represents political figures who are corrupted not solely because she was presumed to have mental problems, but through an example in the novel, there were instances where she acted very anti-men in her decisions. 

I would like to think that the electricity buzzing out from the girls and women’s fingertips represents feminism. This ideology aims to liberate women from the cage of patriarchy. In the earlier parts of the novel, the power does give them the strength to take down dangerous men. This is shown through the part where a girl teaches two boys a lesson after refused to listen to her saying 'no' for a threesome. Another instance was also when the women in Saudi were allowed to drive after discovering the power. However, as the story progresses, more women have misused it. They become the dominant gender in society, innocent men are being targeted for misandry even when they didn't even do anything wrong. In the end, feminism has become a cult and it aims to reconstruct social structure where only women dominate and men are considered weak. How will that be any different from when men dominate through centuries of patriarchal system? Same story, different characters. 

Moral of the story: One needs to be critical of any ideology that they're advocating for as it's not immune to corruption. Because we humans have selfish desires and when a particular ideology gives us power and liberation, we'll only be using it for our own selfish interest but won't be catering it for the whole of humanity.





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