Albert and Esene by Frances Khirallah Noble Essay Example

Frances Khirallah Noble was the of the short story “Albert and Esene.” Noble was well-known for telling stories that focused on the importance of female empowerment and personal value, especially in regard to literacy and education. The short story that this report follows falls into the same category, which is primarily why I picked it. I was fascinated by the fear of others that came as a result of a woman understanding her own personal value.

The short story took place in America many decades ago. The setting was primarily California, but the story focused more on the United States as a whole. The time period was not directly acknowledged, though it was clear by the story itself that it took place during a time when women were not given the freedoms that they have today.
The primary characters in the story were Albert, Esene, Amelia, and Safiyah. Esene was Albert’s wife, and Amelia and Safiyah were Albert’s sisters. While Albert’s parents, Hasna and Nasef, made an appearance, their characters were not vital to the progression of the story. Albert and Esene were a working-class couple; they had money to get by, but they did not have the same wealth as Albert’s sisters. Amelia was not necessarily rich, whereas Safiyah is quite wealthy, but she was still able to live an extravagant life. These two sisters existed to offer a contrast between their educational background and the background of Esene, who was learning to become literate.

“Albert and Esene,” tells the story of an educated Arab-American man, Albert, and his wife, Esene. The story opens with Safiyah and Amelia consoling Esene, who had lost her husband. The story quickly goes into a flashback, which reveals Albert’s unwavering attempts to make his wife literate and educated. At first, Esene was not happy about learning to read and write, but once she began to understand the doors that opened up for her due to her literacy, she was barely able to contain her excitement. However, Albert did not want his sisters to know that Esene was reading, which bothered Esene. One day, she helped her sisters when the four them got lost, exposing that she was able to read. People became uncomfortable by this woman having such power, but Esene and Albert embraced this new ability.

The story followed Esene’s journey as she became a more knowledgable and intelligent woman. Living in a time where female empowerment was looked down upon, Esene learned to set aside her dislike for studying and looked forward to being able to read the words in the world around her. People were put on edge when they learned that Esene was becoming literate, but Esene grew to comprehend that this type of reaction should be considered a compliment. She was able to do something that other women were unable to because they focused too much on the opinion of a society that only wanted to keep women down.