Article Title [Persian]
درک آثار ادبی بدون توجه به زمینه اجتماعی امکان پذیر نیست. پیروزی انقلاب اسلامی در اواخر دهه 1970 ، فرصت مناسبی برای انعکاس ارزش ها و باورهای تربیتی جامعه در حال گذار ایران در قالب آثار ادبی فراهم ساخت. بر این اساس، هدف تحقیق حاضر نقد تربیتی سلطه پذیری دختران بر اساس نظریات دو روانشناس معروف آدلر و هورنای از طریق تحلیل محتوی یک رمان ایرانی است. محققان از روش تحقیق کیفی با رویکرد موردی سود جسته اند. هم چنین جامعه آماری شامل کلیه آثار آدلر و هورنای و روش نمونه گیری ، هدفمند می باشد. روش جمع آوری داده ها ، استنادی و روش تحلیل داده ها ، تحلیل نشانه شناختی است. یافته های تحقیق نشان داد از منظر جامعه شناختی نمی توان روند سلطه پذیری زنان را ازطریق نظریات آدلر و هورنای به سادگی تبیین کرد، در حالی که تحلیل مبتنی بر نشانه شناسی انطباق کاملی بین ویژگی های زنان سلطه پذیر با آراء این دو روانشناس نشان می دهد. هورنای دلیل سلطه پذیری را فضای ناامن خانواده می داند ، در حالی که آدلر بر نقش عقده حقارت تاکید می ورزد. یافته های تحقیق هم چنین مبین تداوم نظام تربیتی مردسالارانه در متن جامعه ای است که داستان رمان در آن جریان دارد. نقد تربیتی اثر حاضر بر تداوم روند سلطه پذیری زنان در هر دو سطح کلان و خرد تاکید ورزیده و توجه سیاست گذاران نظام آموزشی را به نیاز به تجدیدنظر در سیاست های جنسیتی جلب می نماید.
Establishment of the Islamic Republic in the late 1970s had many consequences for Iran society. Before the revolution, society was slowly changing its face and transition from the stage of tradition to the values of the modern world. Following the Western countries, the political system led to the growth of the middle class and the emergence of phenomena such as rural migration, urbanization, and development of new education system (Farzanegan, Alaedini, & Azizimehr, 2017). However, the Shah did not succeed in rapidly transforming the educational values that governed Iranian society. The result of this defeat was the fall of his regime. The fall of the monarchy caused the conflict in traditional and modern intellectual foundations and values to become fully apparent and manifested itself in political conflicts (Mirsepassi, 2010). The victory of the revolution also caused people to be attracted to different groups and political parties with different views and values, so that sometimes in a family, there were strong ideological differences between brothers, sisters and husband and wife. This issue was not limited to families and also caused conflicts among friends and social groups (Crane, Lal, & Martini, 2008). Thus, friends became enemies, resulting in armed conflict between party supporters, torture, assassination, and forced migration. In between, girls and women suffered more due to the prevalence of traditional culture.
With the establishment of the Islamic Republic and the increase of political stability, there was more opportunity for writers to rewrite history in various literary forms, such as novels. The result of this effort was the publication of novels and short stories by various authors. Thus, literature provided an opportunity for society to rethink its past emotions, events and provide a sociological and educational analysis of people's behavior and personality. For example, we can refer to research that has been written in recent years on Iranian novels and stories (Badiee Fard & Sadeghi, 2018, Kalirad 2014, Ghobadi, Aghagolzadeh & Desp, 2009, Hasanli & Salari 2007, Golshiri 1997). The common denominator of these analyzes is the understanding of this fact that in many cases, the behavior, personality and whole life of individuals were subject to social events and individual existence and identity were ignored. In fact, through literature - and especially the novel - Iranian writers have sought to show how social systems have transformed personality (Shams, 2015; Talattof, 1997).
Meanwhile, the novel provides a golden opportunity for psychologists and educationists to analyze and scrutinize the behavior of individuals - in the form of story characters - and the process of formation of positive and negative behavioral traits - such as self-confidence, aggression, malice, anxiety, obsession, jealousy, inferiority, and domination-in interpersonal and social relationships. Also content analysis of the novel - as a literary work that has been welcomed by readers - helps to understand it through psychological theories (Benyei, 2015). Indeed, novel analysis can be considered as one of the effective ways of knowing oneself and others in the form of pleasant language. At the same time, educational and psychological theories can find many empirical supports to prove themselves with the help of various literary forms. It is natural that in the meantime the novel - because of the author's accurate description of the behavioral states of the characters - has a greater advantage than other literary forms.
In view of what has been said, the aim of researchers was to examine the dominance of women and analyze their personality - as a common feature in the Iran educational system in the period when the story takes place. The basic premise of the researchers was that conducting this research can help change our values and beliefs for the benefit of women and girls in society, while raising awareness about the shortcomings of the current education system in Iran. Using the opinions of two famous psychologists and content analysis of the novel "My Share", the present researchers try to answer these questions: What effect did the environment and family upbringing have on the psychological and communication problems of the characters in the novel "My Share"? Why does the main character of the novel react the same and predetermined in different situations? And; finally, how the author of the novel portrays the domineering brigades and the domineering atmosphere?
The method of study was a qualitative case study. Qualitative research requires the collection and application of a range of empirical materials -case study, personal experience, introspection, life story, interview, observational, historical, and visual texts- that describe ordinary and challenging moments and meanings in people's lives (Cristancho, Goldszmidt, Lingard, & Watling, 2018). In addition to the “My Share” novel, the research population includes all books and articles that explain Adler and Horney's theories and were useful for the purpose of the research. Purposeful sampling method was used to select sources and two methods of library and semiotic analysis were used for data collection and analysis, respectively. In semiotic analysis, data is a sign. Language is also defined as a symbolic sign system in which each sign gives meaning to another sign. Therefore, this method is based on language analysis in the text being read (Punch 2004; Titscher, Meyer, Wodak, & Vetter, 2000).
In this section, the views of Adler and Horney are briefly summarized. Then, a brief description of the content of the Iranian novel "My Share" and its author is given. Also, an attempt is made to study and analyze the content of the novel based on the opinions of two psychologists separately. The final part contains the analysis of the novel according to the opinions of two psychologists.
First: Adler’s Opinions
According to Adler, in the beginning every person is a social being. People's personalities are formed through being influenced by the social environment and their interaction with others. Adler believes that mankind is an aggressive animal and must be aggressive in order to survive. In the process of intellectual evolution, Adler first declared sexual desire, then power-seeking, and finally aspiration for supremacy as the motivator of human behavior. In his opinion, seeking supremacy stems from the feeling of inferiority and trying to eliminate it (Mansour, 2016). The child develops a sense of inferiority in relation to older and stronger people around him. This experience is not genetically determined, but is the result of helplessness and dependence on adults. Thus, Adler mentions four personality types: Dominant type, receiver type, avoiding type, and socially useful type. Adler considers the receiver type to be the most common personality type (Mansager & Bluvshtein, 2017). Recipients expect to please others in any way and therefore become dependent on others. According to Adler, adapting to others is the first task we face in life. Social adjustment is an innate talent for achieving personal and social goals, but how this talent manifests depends on each person's social experiences.
Second: Horney's Opinions
Another psychoanalyst whose theory of personality has attracted the attention of psychologists is Karen Horney. Horney expresses the principles of her theories about the structure of the nervous system and comprehensively, accurately and meticulously describes the characteristics of the nervous person (Horney 2014). She has divided nervous people into three groups: love-seeking, superiority-seeking and isolation-seeking. In the words of Horney, "In a world full of exploitation, fraud, rape, humiliation and betrayal, we feel small, insignificant, helpless and in danger. As children, we try to protect ourselves against fundamental anxiety in four ways: gaining love, dominance, gaining power, or resigning "(Saatchi, 2009: 172-171). Acceptability as a means of self-protection involves obedience to the wishes of another person.
Dominant people avoid anything that might provoke hostility from others. They do not dare to criticize or hurt others, suppress their personal desires, and cannot defend themselves against the abuse of others. They fear that this defensive state will provoke the abuser. Most domineering people believe that they are selfless and self-sacrificing. Horney (2017) believes that we all need love in childhood and if this need is not met properly, we may become anxious and use the wrong methods of accepting domination and domination over others to cope with it. The theory of social psychoanalysis by Karen Horney (2015) is based on the assumption that social and cultural conditions, especially childhood experiences, are primarily responsible for personality formation. Horney was aware of the influence of social and cultural forces on personality development. She also knew that different cultural and social groups had different roles for women (Horneyy, 2000).
Third: Description of the Iranian novel "My Share"
Parinoush Saniee (born 1949 - Tehran) is an Iranian novelist. Among her well-known novels are "Father of the other", "Suffering of Solidarity", and "My Share", based on which a film of the same name was made in 2014. The author of the novel “My Share” is the winner of the Giovanni Boccaccio Literary Prize (2010) in Italy. Saniee studied psychology and she is very proficient in processing characters and expressing their moods and spirits. The novel "My Share" is the story of a woman's life from childhood to middle age in a period of fifty years from the 1950s to 2000s. Masoumeh, the main character of the story, grew up in a very religious and fanatical family. In this family, women had very little status and boys ruled instead. On the way to school with her friend Parvaneh, she met a boy named Saeed and fell in love. Masoumeh's brothers found out about this relationship and beat Masoumeh and asked her to leave school and stay at home.
Mahmoud, the older brother, was a very religious man. From then on, he recognized Masoumeh as a symbol of sin. While the mother was supporting her sons, Masoumeh was told she should get married soon. Under family pressure and against her will, Masoumeh married a man she had introduced to a neighbor to escape the unfavorable family situation. Her husband, Hamid, was a highly political figure who paid little attention to Masoumeh from the beginning days of marriage. Political activities and the imprisonment of Hamid, along with the birth of two children, Siamak and Massoud, made Masoumeh not feel much of Hamid's long absences. During this time, Masoumeh's brothers constantly blamed her and her husband. As political changes began, Masoumeh's older brother, Mahmoud, changed his position and hailed Hamid as a hero. He abused Masoumeh's two children to achieve his social status and introduced himself as a revolutionary person. After the victory of the revolution, the new regime arrested Hamid again and executed him. Siamak, who followed his father's ideology and ideas, was also imprisoned by his uncle Mahmoud and later released. However, Masoumeh's sons grew up and served in the Iran-Iraq war as soldiers and then married. During this time, when she lived alone for a few years, she understood that Saeed, the love of her youth time, after immigrating to the United States and then divorcing his wife, had returned to Iran and wanted to marry her. Masoumeh, who was eager to marry him, faced opposition from her sons and was forced to give a negative answer to Saeed:
"... Everyone's pre-determined share is set aside, if the sky comes to earth, it will not change. I often wonder what my share of life was really. Did I have a specific and independent share at all? Or I was part of the men in my life."
The author shows that Masoumeh inadvertently became involved in many social and political events of the last half century in Iran - such as her husband's guerrilla war with the monarchy government, participation of her husband and brothers in the Islamic Revolution process, her husband execution by Muslim revolutionaries because of his membership in communist parties, her eldest son escaping from Iran for not participating in the Iran-Iraq war and participation of her younger son in war as a Muslim revolutionary fighter.
The first sign the reader realizes is the existence of a "patriarchal" family in which a couple lives with two sons and their only daughter. Parents strongly respect and obey their sons. The author's image of the sons of the family reflects fear, humiliation, insult, and in general the image of conflict and discrimination between girls and boys. The main character of the novel "My Share" is a girl named Masoumeh. While she was terrified of her brothers, was at the same time amazed at the behavior of her friend Parvaneh, who had grown up in a non-religious family:
"I was always surprised by the Parvaneh's behaviors. She did not care at all about her father's reputation. She was talking loudly in the street, looking at the shop windows, sometimes stopping and showing me some things. Whatever I said, this is ugly behavior, let's go, she did not pay attention to what I said. She even called me by first name from other side of the street once. I was very embarrassed. God have mercy that none of my brothers were there, otherwise God knows what would have happened" (Saniee, 2016: 14).
Masoumeh has been humiliated and pressured by her family since childhood, and when she entered adolescence, these pressures and humiliations intensified. In her family, the girl was considered a worthless creature. Ahmed, the Masoumeh's younger brother calls her as a worthless person and told his mother:
"What are you spending on this girl, girl has no benefit?" (Ibid: 15).
This violent, awkward and unhealthy relationship made the situation so bad for Masoumeh that she even objected to her gender:
"I cried and wished I was a boy." (Ibid: 16)
The second sign in current words is her choice as a "domineering character." Dominance is manifested in Masoumeh's behaviors from her adolescence. She is not willing to resist and oppose her mother and brothers. In this situation, Horney believes that the abnormal environment creates a constant anxiety and anger in the child namely "basic anxiety" (Gale & Oakley Browne 2003). Basic anxiety is a combination of the following moods and feelings: Anger and resentment towards those around you and little by little about everything, feelings of helplessness in the face of a harassing world, and feelings of loneliness, and defenselessness. The person develops one of the three modes of defense that we have mentioned before - namely, seeking love, seeking superiority, and seeking solitude - develops one of the situations (Horney, 2017). By appealing to love, Masoumeh chose the state of domination and dependence as her character and personality. The needs and desires of the lover appear in the form of a strong desire for belonging, the need to contact others, a state of submission and sacrifice, and behaviors that all indicate a lack of self-confidence.
The third sign is the feeling of lack of love and discrimination in the main character of the novel. Masoumeh says about her mother's behavior:
"I could not remember my mother praising me and my behavior. She was always either busy with the next kids or watching over the older brothers - who loved them more than her life. I was lost in the middle. I was neither the last child nor a boy." (Ibid: 73).
This neglect and lack of love was not only from the mother, but also from the father:
“Ahmed and Mahmoud did not agree for me to leave the house under any circumstances, and my father did not interfere. I was like a dead person." (Ibid: 80).
The fourth sign is the search for love outside the home. Lack of love made Masoumeh fall in love with a boy, Saeed. But she was increasingly insulted and ridiculed by her mother and brothers to the point that she felt guilty and humiliated. Adler identifies the source of the inferiority complex in three sources: Organ inferiority, lust, and neglect (Gilbert 1992). The complex of Masoumeh's humiliation stems from the negligence of the family, which turns to the mechanism of domination to compensate for this humiliation. The fifth sign is the continuation of the role of domination by the other woman in the family, the mother. In a natural process, the mother as a "woman" had to support her daughter, while Saniee introduced the mother of the family as someone who played a major role in creating a patriarchal atmosphere. Masoumeh's mother was a superficial and superstitious person. When she found out that her second son, Ahmad, was addicted to drugs, she denied the truth:
"My mother refused to believe and tried to save her son from demons and bad friends through prayer and magic." (Ibid: 202)
In fact, Masoumeh's mother never played a decisive role in her fate. By portraying the ignorance and superstitions of the mother, Saniee wants to reflect mother’s social and cultural poverty. Thus, the mother of the family played an effective role in perpetuating the patriarchal culture:
“It has long been said that a man should be ugly, ugly and immoral, ugly and immoral!" (Saniee, 2016: 20).
The innocent mother accepted the man's immorality as a legal principle. When a woman recognizes the immorality of men as a principle, she will undoubtedly remain silent in the face of domination. The main character of the story, Masoumeh, was also caught in this involuntary vicious circle. The education system of a traditional society typically denies any independence to the individual - and especially to women. In this educational system, values always revolve around a uniform axis. In this axis, less people are able to express their independent personality. For this reason, in order to expand this space, values such as obedience and concealment of the real personality are manifested in various forms in the deterrent culture (Ahmadi, 2005). In the words of Simone de Beauvoir, "The woman herself acknowledges that the world as a whole is masculine. It was built by men, managed and still dominated today. But the woman does not consider herself responsible, the woman is supposed to be inferior and dependent. The woman has not learned the lesson of violence; she has never stood up as a soul to other members of society. She is a prisoner of her own body and stature, she considers herself passive towards the gods with human appearance - who set goals and values. They must accept the facts and laws proposed by men without debate. The woman's share is obedience and respect." (de Beauvoir, 2006: 504).
The sixth sign is obedience and domination for fear of others, people, society and social prestige. Masoumeh does not want to marry Hamid - a boy she has never seen or known but her mother forces Masoumeh to:
"I never remember saying 'yes' at the wedding, my mother squeezing my arm hard and saying, 'Yes, say yes.' Finally, someone said yes and everyone shook hands." (Sanei, 2016: 105)
In this situation, patriarchal behavior encloses the female personality in such a way that the woman is inevitably drawn to passive behaviors (Ebrahimi, 2010). Masoumeh surrendered to the family decision. In this space, the author reflects the image of Masoumeh as follows:
"I was staring at a point like a metamorphosis. I did not care at all whom was the man sitting next to me as my husband!" (Ibid: 107).
According to Adler, the unwritten rule about women is that they must be dominated. Although these thoughts and prejudices have obscured and destroyed human relationships, they cannot be easily erased from the minds. Even many women are of the same opinion and consider it an eternal law that must be obeyed (Adler, 2000: 176).
Another sign emphasized by the author of the novel “My Share” is the acceptance of the status quo - based on domination - in a gradual process. Hamid was a person who did not pay much attention to Masoumeh from the very first days. He sometimes did not come home for several days:
"There was no feeling for this stranger inside me; I just wanted him to back to home to get rid of this uncertainty. Secondly, I needed money to continue living. Thirdly, I did not want to return to my father's house at all. The fact was that I had found a new shelter and enjoyed this life. (Ibid: 119)
According to Horney (2017), domineering people, despite their disgust, resentment and inner anger, try to attract the love of those around them and put themselves in the shelter of their love. Feelings of belonging and dependence on others to some extent reduce the feeling of weakness and misery:
"I must obey my husband, I must not upset him." (Ibid: 134)
The analysis of the words and sentences of the author of this novel indicates the prevalence of another sign entitled "unchangeable destiny". In Masoumeh's family, female domination is one of their inevitable and obvious destinies. Masoumeh had no right to ask any questions and any criticism was severely punished. For example, when Masoumeh criticized Ahmad's behavior, she was met with a sharp reaction:
"According to Ahmad, men did a thousand jobs before they get married." (Ibid: 86).
As can be seen, the main cause of inequality is the existence of domineering men and an educational system that supports them. Hence, domination becomes a culture that cannot be opposed. The last sign that can be deduced is the negative consequences of domination for the character of the story. Dependence and dominance lead a person to lower self-esteem. As a result, one makes mistakes in assessing one's abilities and falls into the abyss of depression and helplessness.
"Badly, I felt miserable." (Ibid: 61)
"It's my fault that Hamid has no desire to come home, I lost all my self-confidence. (Ibid: 177).
Fifth: Analysis of the novel
The main protagonist of the novel "My Share" as a woman during her life has been overwhelmed by the decisions of men who have always made unpleasant things happen to her. As a child and youth, she was subject to her parents and lived in fear of her older brothers. She did not have time to fall in love and became the wife of a man who neither knew nor loved him. She then had unwanted children who spent much of her life and youth raising them. Saniee skillfully depicts the suffering that Masoumeh has endured all these years:
"I often think, 'What was really my share of life?' Did I have a definite and independent share at all, or was it part of the share of the men in my life who, for their beliefs, ideals, or goals, each somehow took me to the altar? To protect the honor of my father and brothers, I had to be a victim. I paid the price for the wishes and ideals of my husband, the hero of the games and the patriotic duties of my sons. Who was I, wife of a saboteur, a traitor; mother of a hypocrite, wife of a freedom fighter, or a devoted and desperate mother of a warrior? Several times they took me to the top of the sky and then hit me on the head. If none of it was my right, I was not promoted because of my own merits and abilities, nor was my downfall the product of my own mistakes. As if I never existed, when did I live for myself? When did I work for myself? When did I have the right to choose and decide? "When they asked me what do you want?" (Ibid: 525)
This tragic novel depicts the life story of thousands of girls and women who have shared experiences in Iran in recent decades. Apart from the fluent and intimate prose of "My Share", the atmosphere of the novel is designed in such a way that the reader is willing to follow the story without interruption so as not to reduce its rhythm. In addition, the psychological as well as social features of the story - along with its tangible and real atmosphere - add to the appeal of this 500-page novel. As a result, the book has been reprinted more than 30 times and translated into 27 languages. The tragedy of domination in the novel "My Share" shows a culture and family education system that has existed for centuries in many human societies (Mill, 2000). Men domination over women is not limited to Iran's cultural and educational system. However, it must be acknowledged that the further we go, the less male power there is in many Iranian families. The period of the novel begins in the 1950s, when the Iran society - after going through the sufferings of the First and Second World Wars-, gradually became acquainted with the manifestations of the industrial world (Karimi, 2004). From the 1950s to the late 1970s – and for thirty years - the Iran’s people witnessed many social, cultural and economic changes in their lives. Despite these dramatic changes, the majority of the people - who belonged to both the poor and the middle classes - could not find unity and reconciliation between their traditional value system and the values of Western culture. The fall of the pro-Western monarchy and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, whose mission was to return to Islamic values, were the result of a failure to resolve the conflict between tradition and modernism. However, from the 1980s to the 2000s - when the life of the novel's protagonist continues - she was once again caught up in numerous social and political events without scientific advances or major political developments changing the traditional relationship among men and women.
Given this social and educational climates, the analysis of the protagonist's behavior is understandable from the perspective of theories of personality. That a person loses his/her decision-making power against her/his will and only so as not to be rejected by those to whom she/he depends. Of course, this does not mean that a woman is not aware of her distressing condition. But realism does not allow her to stand up against the culture of patriarchy. She sees that the political struggles, revolution, war, scientific advances, school textbooks, and educational system, none of them could completely eradicate the domination of women in society. For this reason, Masoumeh sadly walks towards her bitter fate:
"I walked towards my home. I was very tired, my loneliness luggage had become heavier and heavier, my steps were weaker and weaker. I wrapped myself in my black jacket and looked up at the sky and said what a difficult winter is ahead” (Ibid: 528).
In the last sentences of the novel, Saniee beautifully reflects the image of a domineering woman and the fate that awaits her. She describes loneliness that awaits her, the blackness of the jacket and sky and the harsh winter that reflects the inevitable fate of a dependent and passive person. In Masoumeh's character, there are multiple emotions: On the one hand, a woman with the feeling that she wants to marry the love of her adolescence, and on the other hand, a devoted mother who has surrendered to the patriarchal system and accepted it. Mahmoud and Ahmad, Masoumeh brothers, also had a dominant personality. According to Adler, it is the domineering personage that strengthens the hegemonic character by misplaced obedience. (Adler 2013). Masoumeh's brothers wanted to dominate her with arrogant and proud behavior. The weak personality of the parents made it easy for them to achieve their goals.
According to Everett Leo Shostrom (2008), a domineering person is one who exploits and controls himself and others as an "object" and uses human beings to achieve his personal interests. Alongside domination, there is the concept of power. Power represents visible force that may be used in a social situation. Power is neither force nor authority, but a combination of them. Some people have extreme power; because they are very obedient people who easily accept their orders or humbly conform to the norms that are imposed on them (Ibid: 173). What is important in this is the lack of distribution of power structure in the Iranian family. The power given to men is prominent and influential, a power that is mainly authoritarian and destructive (Zahiri & Fathi, 2010). According to Adler and Horney the behavior of the characters in "My Share" can be divided into two groups of domineering men and women accepting domination. The sociological explanation of the behavior of both groups shows a disease education system that has not been able to respect the existence and equal personality of men and women and teaching this fact to the young generation. Psychological analysis of this inequality can be done using the theories of Adler and Horney. The theories of these two psychologists highlighted that we face the prevalence of negative behaviors - such as acceptance of domination, inferiority complex, preference of collective interests over individual interests, and superiority of self-interests over the interests of others - at the micro level (individuals). Thus, from a sociological point of view, Masoumeh is not guilty person. For this reason, Saniee has consciously chosen the name "Masoumeh", which means "innocent person" in Persian language, for her protagonist. Masoumeh has been in the hands of others during her puppet life. For this reason, it is not easy to use "labels" - which Adler and Horney use in their theories to analyze personality - such as inferiority complex, supremacy, or nervousness, to analyze Masoumeh's behavior. On the other hand, due to the shortcomings of the educational system, we can blame all the innocents of the society who could not stand against the domination system by cultivating a strong and independent personality for themselves.
The author of the novel "My Share" shows the relationship between acceptance of domination and hegemony resulting from the culture of patriarchy and the limitations of traditional society for women. In this novel, the female character of the story is presented in a way that can indicate the author's will to show the oppression of women in her society. By drawing Masoumeh's psychic state, Saniee has tried to clearly reflect all the abnormal and selfish behaviors of the men of her society. She also emphasizes the powerful role of sons in family to show that the value system based on domination is passed from generation to generation. That is why reformist systems - such as educational system - cannot destroy or weaken this ominous legacy. In fact, Saniee has criticized the patriarchal society and shown their misogynistic approach. By dealing with women and their domination, Saniee tries to indicate that patriarchal behavior subjugates a woman's character in such a way that she is inevitably drawn to passive behaviors. In this case, there is no sign of a woman's worthy position - which corresponds to her real abilities. In this way, the author seems to want to convey the ominous phenomenon of inequality, gender discrimination and oppression of women to the readers of the novel. For psychoanalysts like Adler and Horney, the root of all psychological problems is the environment and relationships between family members. Horney sees the reason for psychotic people resorting to neural tactics such as loving (obedient personality) or seeking supremacy (domination) as the insecure atmosphere of the family.
Adler also believes the inferiority complex as a factor in turning a neurotic into a domineering person. Accordingly, all members of Masoumeh's family are psychologically unhealthy people who have formed an unhealthy family. Also, all of them are innocent people who lack life skills due to the lack of a strong education system. In this situation, their behavior as people living in the late twentieth century is not much different from their ancestors who lived in previous centuries. Another point that can be considered is that according to Horney's theory, the personality accepting domination is a masochistic person who surrenders to the domination of a sadistic person (Horney 2014). Against this person, there is an arrogant and domineering personality who must always play the role of a powerful person. According to Adler and Horneyy, Masoumeh lacks willpower because she has lost her identity in front of the men of the family and society. At the bitter end of the story, Saniee tries to send a message about the importance of women's involvement in their own destiny and social and intellectual independence. In her opinion, any change in social systems will be useless until there is no a fundamental change in women's personality.