Repression, Isolation and Paranoia: A Psychoanalytic Feminist Study of ‘The Nightmare’ by Rukhsana Ahmad


  • Noreen Zainab Islamic University Islamabad Author



Short Fiction, Pakistani women, Paranoia, Housewives, isolation, unconscious, symbols, psychological abuse


Generally, literature written by Pakistani women writers in English depicts women
as victims of patriarchy, social and cultural oppression. Meanwhile, in recent times
the short fiction is exploring new paradigms related to the psychological oppression
of married women in Pakistan. The following paper selects the short story, ‘The
Nightmare’ by Pakistani writer, Rukhsana Ahmad, where a housewife suffers from
paranoia because of disconsolate marriage. Therefore, this research aims to study
the causes of psychological disorders specifically paranoia among apparently
happy housewives. Moreover, the causes and effects of repression and isolation on
personality of women would be discussed from the psychoanalytic feminist
perspective using the framework of Sigmund Freud (1973- 86) through the
character of Fariha. Through the method of character analysis (Dobie, 2011) this
paper concludes that the childhood experiences of repression are the reason for
victim’s passiveness towards psychological oppression during adult life. This paper
would also help in establishing the conclusion that women who suffer abuse in their
childhood are more likely to face abuse in their adult lives, which becomes the
cause of their psychological instability.




How to Cite

Noreen Zainab. (2017). Repression, Isolation and Paranoia: A Psychoanalytic Feminist Study of ‘The Nightmare’ by Rukhsana Ahmad. University of Chitral Journal of Linguistics and Literature, 1(I), 47-59.

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