“I want to fly”: New Women Traversing Cultural and Geographical Boundaries in the Poetry of Thuraya Al Arrayed
Hadeel Jamal Azhar

This paper sheds light on Thuraya Al Arrayed‟s unconventional portrayal of women in selected revolutionary poems which engage with the notion of the New Woman, a term first coined by the English novelist Ouida in 1894. Although the English New Woman is not the main scope of this paper, I explore how Al Arrayed‟s representation of women resembles the experience of the Victorian New Woman who is perceived by contemporary scholars as the foremother of modern feminists who sought social and legal reforms. Thus, this research adds to the existing body of knowledge, offering a new approach to Al Arrayed‟s poetry in relation to aspects concerning New Women in contemporary Saudi Arabia. By continuously interrogating Al Arrayed‟s choice of metaphors and images in contrast with those depicted by Victorian poets, I aim to establish Al Arrayed as a significant woman poet whose poetry embraces a literary tradition which questions negative gendered attitudes biased against passionate women. In my approach to Al Arrayed‟s poetry, I consult selected poems from her published and unpublished volumes, in addition to biographical notes based on personal interviews. Besides, I consider sociological research conducted on the changing role of women which coincided with the transitional phases in contemporary Saudi Arabia and Victorian England. The majority of the thematic focus offered in this article is absent from contemporary literature. Thus, the significance of this research lies in the way it moves the debate on Al Arrayed forward to address aspects to be considered for the first time.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v5n2a22