This week’s readings take us further into the lives of Hasan and his family – watching the family dynamics change as politics and people change. The beginning of the reading starts with him and his family fleeing Spain to live in Fez, Morocco. Hasan’s grandmother dies, and thus leads to Hasan’s entry into adulthood. During the mourning services Hasasn’s father and uncle decide he is ready to begin school, Hasan is a little bit young but they believe he is quite excelled for a boy his age. In school Hasan meets Haron, they become great friends. It is a known fact among the city that Haron is always up to mischief. Haron and Hasan go on expeditions together, one even lead to them to going into a tavern where Hasan encountered his father; seeing his father in the tavern was the first time Hasan really ever questioned his father’s actions. This leads to Hasan’s fight with his father over their disagreement on Marium’s betrothal. Hasan disagrees with his father’s intentions to marry her off for money. After this the marriage was called off after a tactic by Harun.
Because Zwarali (man whom marium was supposed to marry) was embarrassed by this rejection, he used his money and power to have Marium taken away to a Leper colony. This was striking to me, how could anyone doctor, peasant, person of authority, etc, be permitted to take a perfectly and obviously healthy girl away from her home? It seems as if the government had an immense amount of power over their people; and that money could buy ANYTHING – even the kidnapping and keeping of a daughter from a well-to-do family.
“At the age of 12 I still believed that as between beasts and men the former could do the most damage.” Hasan says this before he knew of Marium’s engagement while he and his family were being attacked by lions – the lions gave up. This shows though, that Hasan understands the terrible treatment of women and condemns it. If Hasan denounced this type of patriarchal behavior, other men at the time must have as well, right? Did men like this ever say anything to other men who were known to treat their wives like garbage?.. Did these men treat their wives any better, or were all men considered ‘weak’ if they stood up for women?