Sultana’s Dream by Roquia Sakhawat Hussain

30969272-1Written in 1905 by a female Bengali author, this short piece of fiction was almost a fable for the feminist movement.

The story itself is reminiscent of Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, with the protagonist travelling to a land ruled by women in her dreams. This highlights the differences between men and women in Bangladesh at the time and the biased attitudes that are taught to both men and women as they are growing up.

Being a modern reader, I wouldn’t say that this has anything groundbreaking to say. However, I appreciated reading something from this time period and from an author from a different culture than many of the feminist texts we see from this time.

Though I liked the ideas that Hussain wrote about in this piece, I feel like I didn’t learn anything new and this may be because this is so short. At under 20 pages in the edition that I read, there wasn’t much time for development so has a fable-like quality to it. Overall I would give this a read if you want to read more classic feminist texts, but nowadays I don’t think that this is groundbreaking or anything.

3 out of 5 stars!


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