• First Language: Turkish

  • Subjects:  Women’s Studies

  • Journal Section: Research Article

  • Authors: Raheleh BAHADOR  Leila HASHEMİ  Esmaeil ZOHDİ

  • Dates: 1 January 2009

Eternal definitions imposed by tradition and ideology defines woman as the “Other” to man. Though it seems that postmodernity has broken the closed space of tradition and redefined the woman, not much has changed in the small and urban areas even in the first world countries. Family as the smallest unit in the society is the miniature of a bigger world that forms woman identity to enter a much bigger world. Social space influences the individual through lifetime. It provides the perspective into the hidden angles of mental space. Affected by strict social space, women live in a double world that one is illusory and the other one is reality. Just as a typical figure to study identity formation in contemporary world, the feminine character in Alice Munro’s “Runaway” 2004 is pulled between conflicting imperatives, between rootedness and scape, freedom and domesticity, tending to family responsibilities and following the urgent promptings of her own heart. As an interdisciplinary study, this essay proposes to examine the social and mental spaces of the feminine character in Alice Munro’s “Runaway” within the paradigm of Henri Lefebvre’s mirage concept, assessing the extent to which she is defined by social space and the far-reaching temptation of escape and independence brought by subjective space in the context of modern Canada as a microcosm of the world. “Carla” does live between the internal world of her dreams that makes her to be an “agent” and the society that imposes its own models to fit in. The archetype model of woman as “passive” and “other” is repeated in the story by seminal female character but it is repeated in a world that heralds “equality” and “justice” for women. Not to follow mottoes, “Carla” is the heroine of her mental space since she has the courage to “runaway” from clichés. She knows how the world defines her but grasps the only chance in her life to change the conditions. More than a real social space, it is discussed that the restrictions that Carla is tangled within, is a mental state that women are born in. The hegemonic world of reality with its invisible lines has many spaces to relive and redefine the traditional concept of woman. Social space shapes the identity of the women and makes less blank spaces to run away and it cuts the world for them into reality and fantasy.