Women at the Edge: Crimes of Power against Women in the Context of Nadeem Aslam’s Novel ‘The Wasted Vigil’


This paper aims to give a clearer perspective of the reasons of crimes of power committed against women in the context of Afghanistan and talibanization, as represented in Nadeem Aslam’s novel ‘The Wasted Vigil’. Through an analysis in the broader framework of socio-cultural and religio-political background, perceptions of the mindset of perpetrators of hegemony and power can be gained from the text. It aims to analyze the determinants of the mindset of those who wield power to punish, hegemonize and destroy, under the practice of honour killings, female oppression, and issue of the veil, religious extremism and ethnic conflicts. Afghan society is worse than the panopticon prison, it is an enclosure where everybody is wary of everybody and women are the subjects of constant gaze and surveillance. Women in Afghanistan are not only petty subjects of a retrogressive hegemonic regime; they are abject targets of extremist religio-political forces. The Wasted Vigil minutely explores excesses of power against women. It explicates how women are considered unholy symbols of Eve and evil. The importance of such a study cannot be overlooked in the current scenario of worldwide implications of extremism. This study intends to provide insights through the context of the novel into the apparatuses of control used by misogynist fundamentalist, who control to kill as a holy act. This paper can be considered as a minute study of power in text and context of a war torn, strife ridden society; with its blind conflict for gaining power.

Author Information
Zakia Nasir, University of Management and Technology, Pakistan

Paper Information
Conference: LibEuro2015
Stream: Literature - Asian Literature

This paper is part of the LibEuro2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon