Representations of Female Characters in the Works of Halide Edip Adıvar and George Bernard Shaw: A Comparative Literature StudyYasemin Bayraktar, Sevim İnal, Oya Tunaboylu
In this study, the similarities between the world view of Halide Edip Adıvar and George Bernard Shaw, the reflections of these similarities on their understanding of art, themes of their works and the role of their heroines, will be discussed. The similarities of the female characters reflected in their works will be evaluated within the scope of comparative literature. It’s possible to say that the two authors of the world literature tried to draw a strong, independent and combative woman image through the female characters they created, and convey their messages from local to universal values through the heroines in their works. The origin of similar and common images of women is mostly hidden in the life experience of both authors and their way of world view. The reflection and roles of similar female characters in the works of these two writers belonging to different genders and cultures in different contexts, are modern and innovative, far from the traditional female portrait., The world views and roles of modern women in the works of both authors will be emphasized within such formation, which could be elucidated as a rebellion against tradition and social codes, and a guiding attitude from another standpoint.
Karşılaştırmalı Edebiyat Bağlamında Halide Edip Adıvar ve George Bernard Shaw’un Eserlerinde Kadın Karakterlerin GörünümleriYasemin Bayraktar, Sevim İnal, Oya Tunaboylu
Bu çalışmada çağdaş olan Halide Edip Adıvar ve George Bernard Shaw’un dünyaya bakış açılarındaki benzerlikler, bu benzerliklerin sanat anlayışlarına yansımaları ortaya konacaktır. Karşılaştırmalı edebiyatın sınırları içerisinde değerlendirilmeye uygun olan çerçeve içerisinde kadın karakterlerin benzer görünümleri üzerinde durulacaktır. Her iki yazarın kurmaca dünyalarında yarattıkları kadın kahramanların görünümleri ve üstlendikleri rollerin benzerlikleri dikkat çekicidir. Dünya edebiyatının bu iki önemli yazarının ortaya koydukları karakterler yoluyla güçlü, bağımsız ve mücadeleci kadın imgesi çizmeye, yerelden evrensele uzanan mesajlarını eserlerindeki kahramanlar yoluyla vermeye çalıştıklarını söylemek mümkündür. Adıvar ve Shaw’un yarattıkları benzer ve ortak kadın imgelerinin kökeni daha çok her iki yazarın biyografilerinde ve dünyaya bakış tarzlarında saklıdır. Farklı coğrafyalarda yaşamış olan, farklı cinsiyetlere ve kültürlere mensup söz konusu iki yazarın eserlerindeki benzer kadın karakterlerin görünümü ve rolleri bulundukları toplumun çizdiği kadın portresinden uzak, modern ve yenilikçidir. Halide Edip Adıvar’ın romanlarında, Bernard Shaw’un tiyatro oyunlarında yarattıkları kadın karakterler, kadının imgesini onun kişiliğinden başlayarak toplumsal statüsüne kadar çağın ilerisinde konumlandırır. Geleneğin kodladığı edilgen kadın imgesinden farklı görünümler sergileyen kadın kahramanlar her iki yazarın eserlerinde vücut bulmuş, toplumlarında yankı uyandırmıştır. Başka bir yandan geleneğe ve toplum kodlarına bir başkaldırı ve yönlendirici bir tavır olarak da anlamlandırılabilecek bu yapıda her iki yazarın eserlerinde modern kadının görünümleri ve rolleri dikkat çekicidir.
Introduction and Purpose
Comparative literature is a discipline based on the notion of interaction and comparison. Within the scope of comparative literature, the idea prevails that the unique characteristics of cultures are best reflected in literary works and thus become objects of comparison for other cultures. Comparative literature is most commonly known for presenting comparative studies of authors and their works based on different cultural and civilizational perspectives.
This study will examine the commonality and similarities between the female images as depicted in the fictional worlds of two contemporary authors: Halide Edip Adıvar (1884-1964) and George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950). These two contemporary writers from different cultural backgrounds and genders are interestingly seen to have developed similar notions and structures regarding the concept of women in the rapidly developing and transforming world of the 19th century. Also fascinating is that the authors are social entities who sometimes reflect and criticize the codes and teachings of the society in which they had been born and raised.
This research takes its basis as a comparative literature study analyzing the biographical data of two authors who lived in different geographical locations of the world. The study mainly analyzes and discusses the common and similar aspects of the heroines in Halide Edip’s novels and Bernard Shaw’s plays. Many biographical and text-based research and analyses have been carried out over Halide Edip Adıvar and George Bernard Shaw. Among the major studies in the Turkish literature on Halide Edip Adıvar are İnci Enginün’s two books, titled Halide Edib Adıvar (1998, 2019) and (Halide Edib Adıvar’ın Eserlerinde Doğu ve Batı Meselesi) The Issue of the East and West in the Works of Halide Edib Adıvar, as well as various other studies. Şerif Aktaş in addition to many other scholars and researchers have penned studies on Halide Edip Adıvar using the biographical text analysis method. Similarly, the Western literature has many studies that have been done on the plays and other works of Bernard Shaw, such as Henderson (1911), Glosser (1965), Holroyd (1979), Grene (1984), and Chesterton (2014) to name a few.
Although some studies have occurred separately in both the Turkish and English /Irish literature, a lack of studies also appears to have occurred in the area of comparative literature studies of Turkish and English/Irish literature. Thus, this study will attempt to fill this gap in the related field. Additionally, this study is thought to be able to secure a place in the related literature by depicting the perspectives of the two authors with regard to the social status of women as well as the value placed on them within the scope of historical and sociological criticism.
Methodology and Findings
The research study is mainly based on the concrete data presented by the theory of comparative literature. This study also discusses the effects and indicators of both authors’ life experiences that can be seen in their female characters and images. The study presents the structures that are similar in the female images in both authors’ works and also emphasizes the meanings that arise within their texts as they emerge when presenting these similarities. The study discusses the representation of heroines as different from the female portrait drawn by the traditions in both societies and brings to light the missions these representations undertook in both authors’ works as well as in the period in which they lived.
Conclusions and Recommendations
As a result, despite the fact that both authors lived in different countries with different cultural backgrounds, the similarities in their opposition to the traditional positioning of women in society united Halide Edip Adıvar and Bernard Shaw’s female characters in their works, with women being reflected in their works as being strong and educated and having guiding roles in male-dominated societies, such as the characters of Sainte Jeanne, Candida, Aliye, Seviyye, and other female characters these two authors had created. The two authors emphasized women’s problems, the need for them to receive equal education with men, and the need for women to seek out their social rights. Both authors focused on the social problems of their societies while expressing women’s issues by emphasizing universal values such as love, respect, and trust because they wanted the family to have a solid foundation in society. Both Shaw and Adıvar referred to women as the cornerstone of the family and therefore the two wrote about educated women in their works who had strong personalities, as well as the way these women lead society. The path both writers paved through their images of universal values and changes to the role of women in the world and in society is a subject worthy of attention and study.