Going beyond borders: an analysis of the novels that include adulteress within the context of turkish modernity
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This study examines the Ottoman-Turkish novels in which the focus of the plot is female adultery. In this thesis marriage is considered as a contract that guarantees the sexual intercourse will be between only spouses and adultery is regarded that transgression of the marriage contract. The thesis focuses on the Aşk-ı Memnu (1900) by Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil, Sevda Peşinde (1910) by Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar, Sabir Efendi’nin Gelini (1921) by Ercüment Ekrem Talu, Zaniyeler (1924) by Salâhaddin Enis Atabeyoğlu and Ölmeye Yatmak (1973) by Adalet Ağaoğlu. These novels are a product of different historical contexts and this thesis questions the attitude towards adulteresses with regards to the reasons for and results of adultery and whether they differ or not in different novels according to the modernization periods. The first chapter examines the novels Aşk-ı Memnu by Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil and Sevda Peşinde by Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar. The chapter argues that even though these authors present different characteristics in their writings in terms of their perception about novel, their attitude towards adulteress is similar. The second chapter examines the novels Sabir Efendi’nin Gelini by Ercüment Ekrem Talu, Zaniyeler by Salâhaddin Enis Atabeyoğlu and Ölmeye Yatmak by Adalet Ağaoğlu. The novels examined in the first chapter relates adultery with the human nature. However, the novels examined in this chapter relates adultery with cultural factors. Thus, this chapter points out that during the nationalization period the narration of adulteress experienced a transformation. The third chapter focuses on the male characters in the adulterous triangle. It has been observed that despite the changes in the image of adulteresses, the image of their husbands stayed stable. Husbands are always fictionalized in a weakness that makes their wife rightful. Other men make their weakness more visible. The image of the husbands and other men are analyzed according to the concept of “hegemonic masculinity” by R. W. Connell.