• First Language: Turkish

  • Subjects:  Women’s Studies

  • Journal Section: Research Article

  • Authors: Sohila FAGHFORİ
    Department of English Literature, faculty of humanities,Vali-e-Asr University of Rafsanjan, Kerman, Iran.

  • Dates: 1 June 2015

This paper presents a feminist reading of Orhan Pamuk’s prize winner novel, My Name is Red. Feminism is a common approach applied to the study of literary works. It always reveals new things to be discovered about women’s essence and their place in the world. The study of women’s history indicates their ceaseless suffering and oppression caused by male gender throughout the centuries. Since old times, women have always struggled for their rights. Moreover, many great figures have endeavored to bring changes to the position of women in the male-dominated world. The contemporary Turkish writer, Orhan Pamuk, can be considered to be one of these figures. As a postmodern writer he has tried to deconstruct the binary opposition of male/female in his historical novel My Name is Red. It is the story of a woman called Shekure who struggles to define her identity in a patriarchal society and attempts to shape her fate among powerful men. Indeed, through this character, Pamuk is able to depict all the sufferings and oppressions brought to women by the Ottoman society of 16th century and even the present-day Turkey. Although the novel includes 59 chapters mostly related by male characters, Pamuk lets his female characters speak as well. This paper attempts to show the feminist ideas of Pamuk by analyzing the chapters related by the main female characters of the novel, Shekure and Esther. The stories related by these characters are of great interest to the readers. This study further reveals some information about the lives of women in 16th century Ottoman Society of Turkey and how this condition has improved as the result of women’s struggle for self- discovery and female identity exploration. Shekure is the representative of such strong and brave women who have gone a long way through the journey of self-discovery. She revolts against the traditional image of women as submissive and inferior to men and defines her place in her society. In other words, Shekure is an intelligent woman who demands to have a place in her patriarchal society, to tell her story to the readers and to have a room of her own.

Feminism, postmodernism, Ottoman Empire, My Name is Red, Orhan Pamuk

Department of English Literature, faculty of humanities,Vali-e-Asr University of Rafsanjan, Kerman, Iran