Ahmet Mithat Efendi'de mizahın toplumsal cinsiyeti
Halman, Talât Sait
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Ahmet Mithat Efendi, one of the most prolific writers of the establishment phase of modern literature, depicts an age of political and social transformation, while also producing the first examples of novels and stories. In reflection of his social responsibility consciousness, this writer discusses in his texts the necessity of building a society according to neo-traditional forms, without departing from the principle of “useful information”. Acknowledging the advantages of popularization Ahmet Mithat Efendi takes advantage of opportunities provided by the media, in his production of series of novels and stories which depict his view of ideal social order and his conceptualization of modern identities for both men and women. Through such works, and by using media as a channel, he aims to be accessible to all sectors of society and share his views on ideal traditional-modern femininity – masculinity forms. In other words, while reproducing tradition according to Western criteria, his primary goal is to reorganize gender relations. Features of traditional narration function as a vehicle for the author, onto which he transposes the images of men and women who will lead society. Thus, Ahmet Mithat Efendi, aware of the limitations of his contemporary readership and of traditional forms of narrative, inserted his view of ideal gender roles into fictional texts. The writer employs humor for the purpose of combining his view of a new social order with gender identity in his literary texts. Humorous elements contribute both to constructing the text and to determining an ideal gender perception; people and phenomena, though depicted in humorous ways, display a social acceptance of gender roles. In this context, during the Tanzimat period the behavior of the Ottoman citizen and readers’ perceptions of gender identities are shaped according to Western norms Ahmet Mithat Efendi promotes such influences within his fictional works of and he uses humor as a tool to help convince his readership of his ideas.