The Experience of marriage: a comparative study of Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary & Halit Ziya Uşakligil’s Aşk-ı Memnu with a psychoanalytic feminist perspective

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2014
Haider, Maheen
Elaborating on the 19th century novels, Madam Bovary (1856) by Gustave Flaubert and Aşk-ı Memnu (1899) by Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil, this thesis aims to analyze and compare the two novels from a psychoanalytic feminist point of view, based originally on Sigmund Freud’s ideas on gender construction. It argues that the marriage in the novels is a social requirement of being a woman in a patriarchal society and the adultery by women might be a way of taking revenge from the patriarchal society. According to the psychoanalytic feminism, for one thing, gender roles are constructed during childhood and in the novels, this fact the main reason behind female characters’ marriage, Emma and Bihter. For the other, the repressed thoughts in the unconscious mind during the childhood might reveal when they find a suitable atmosphere and it is shown in the form of adultery in both novels. Adultery also might be a way of taking revenge from the social gender requirements constructed by the patriarchal society for women. Moreover, when 19th century as a period is taken into account, the suicide could be interpreted as the forfeit that female characters pay. Because already forecasting the social pressure and reaction they might face, the writers would not be able to make the characters continue their lives after presenting them involved in a socially taboo issue. This study also demonstrates that writers of the two novels have a supportive attitude towards female characters while presenting the questionings and self-monologues during marriage, adultery and suicide. The comparative analysis of the novels within this theoretical framework aims to demonstrate the complexity and universality of the issues of marriage and adultery in women’s life, providing further food in the area of feminism.

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Citation Formats
M. Haider, “The Experience of marriage: a comparative study of Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary & Halit Ziya Uşakligil’s Aşk-ı Memnu with a psychoanalytic feminist perspective,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2014.