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Traditions against women in the novels "Possessing The Secret of Joy", "Bliss", "Rich Like Us" and "Raise The Lanterns High"

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2009
Kaya, Nimet
Some cultures have customs against women. The sati tradition in India is one of them. According to sati, if the husband dies the woman is set on fire with his corpse. These women are believed to become immortal saints. A woman who dies burning herself on her husband’s funeral fire is considered virtuous, and are believed to go to Heaven. Another tradition is “female circumcision.” It is performed in African countries. People believing in the necessity of this custom circumcise women by cutting their clitoris. Circumcised women cannot have sexually pleasure. These women are there to satisfy men’s desires and give birth to babies. The third tradition is the general name of which is töre is performed in the eastern parts of Turkey. According to töre, women are put on trial by their families and killed if they have any sexual relationships without marriage bond. In other words, even if a woman is raped, she is found guilty because of having a sexual relationship. In this thesis, these issues and how women are degraded in cultures will be discussed by using the works of famous Indian, Black American and Turkish writers. The books that are discussed in this thesis, Nayantara Sahgal’s “Rich Like Us,” Lakshmi Persaud’s “Raise the Lanterns High,” “Possessing the Secret of Joy” by Alice Walker and “Bliss” by Zülfü Livaneli all contribute to this study showing how women are oppressed by different customs in different countries, the common point of which is to serve men’s interests.