Sisterly Bond/Sisters of Agony: A Feminist Reading of Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart and Ntozake Shange’s for Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf

Amal Gouda Abdel Aziz


Beth Henley (1952- ) and Ntozake Shange (1948- ) are renowned U.S. women playwrights. Exploring into the feminist insights of these contemporary writers, this paper will attempt to demonstrate that though their most celebrated plays, Crimes of the Heart and for colored girls, display noticeable dissimilarities in the structure, tone and technique, yet they are also characterized by parallel feminist visions with regard to women’s suffering in a predominantly patriarchal society. Both plays revolve around the painful experiences of women who have been subordinated by a male-dominated culture. In their struggle to find new positive images of self, these women endeavor to redefine the meaning of their humanity and to create invigorating images of the future. Rejecting conventions and rising above suffering and silence, they find their redemption in a mystical sense of feminine unity, a sisterly bond of love and care among women to transcend the degenerate forces, which have long subjugated and banished them.

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English Language and Literature Studies   ISSN 1925-4768 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4776 (Online)   E-mail:

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