Carriages in early Turkish novel
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This thesis examines the rules and conventions surrounding the use of carriages in early Turkish novels and the changes these rules and conventions went through. It seeks to capture the details that a modern reader tends to miss because of a lack of knowledge about the use of carriages in fiction. Examples are taken from novels published between 1851 and 1926. A formalist approach is adopted as a theoretical framework and it is assumed that there is a cultural system shared by the writers and it determines the functions and meanings of carriages in novels. Carriages and carriage ownership are usually interpreted as signs of wealth and status in early Turkish novels. Their function in conspicuous consumption and leisure, as defined by Veblen, is partly the reason of their interpretation. Carriages are also used to symbolize the distinction among the social classes and even become tools of oppression in some novels. Carriages also assume a central role in the love stories from early Turkish novels and are often used in conjunction with a specific set of narrative elements. The motif of “carriage affair” which consists of these narrative elements is commonly encountered in the novels published in the 19th century. Later on, the role of carriages in the love stories changes with the emergence of novels that describe lovers in the same carriage.In some cases, carriages are spatialised due to harsh criticism regarding promenades along with molestation by male characters. Thanks to their physical attributes and conventions on their use in early Turkish novels, carriages provide protection, especially for the female characters. Gender segregation in carriage-spaces constitutes a part of these conventions. This segregation declines gradually starting from 1900s and eventually, male and female characters sharing the same carriage is seen as a normal occurence.