Comparative soruları ve yanıtları  


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15/01/2019 4:34 am  

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  1. Comparative literature has an interdisciplinary nature. This eclecticism has led comparatists and critics to define the field as “literature without borders”.
  2. Comparative literature has its roots in the ideas of a German man of letters, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in his vision of “weltliterature” (World Literature) during the second half of the 18th century.
  3. During the late 19th century, comparatists were chiefly concerned with deducing the purported Zeitgeist or "spirit of the times", which they assumed to be embodied in the literary output of each nation.
  4. During the late 19th century, the most important feature of comparative studies was that they based on national approach. When compared in today’s standards these studies seem to be chauvinistic, national and Eurocentric (European-oriented).
  5. During the 19th century, it seems that the comparative studies of the German School had a chauvinistic and national nature whereas those of the French School were mostly Eurocentric.
  6. From the early part of the 20th century until the Second World War, the “French School” examined works forensically, looking for evidence of "origins" and "influences" between works from different nations.
  7. One of the most important scholars of the French School was Carre. The ideas of the school were usually criticized by the American School, in which the most important scholar was Rene Wellek.
  8. Rene Wellek criticized the French School indicating that the scholars couldn’t well determine the borders of the area.
  9. Differences between the ideas of Carre and Wellek are:


chosing authors

cross-national comparison

No emphasis on aesthetic function of literature  


Against the ideas of the French School.

Supporting the idea of “general literature” rather than “national literatures”

Text is considered as a work of art.

10 Today, most scholars try to re-focus the discipline away from the nation-based approach with which it has previously been associated towards a cross-cultural approach that pays no heed to national borders. Works of this nature include Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak’s Death of a Discipline, David Damrosch's What is World Literature?, Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek's concept of "comparative cultural studies".

11. Wide Sargasso Sea was written by Jean Rhys as a prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre.

12. A prequel is a work that supplements a previously completed one, and has an earlier time setting. A prequel forms part of the “back-story”.

13. Especially in postcolonial literature, prequels have been useful devices of subversion.

14. A few examples of well-known prequels are a) Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys as a prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre b) A Tempest by Aime Cesaire as a prequel to The Tempest by William Shakespeare c) Foe by J. M. Coetzee as a prequel to Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.

15. Wide Sargasso Sea is usually thought of as a postmodern and postcolonial response to Jane Eyre. It is especially the last and shortest chapter of the novel that makes it a postmodern

16. In the last chapter of Wide Sargasso Sea, narrating in a stream of consciousness, Bertha decides to commit suicide as she believes it to be her destiny.

17. Wide Sargasso Sea transforms Rochester's first wife from Bertha Mason, the infamous “madwoman in the attic”, to the lively yet vulnerable Antoinette Cosway.

18. To discuss the socio-economical and political condition in the Caribbean Islands, as the first technique of subversion in her novel, Jean Rhys changes the setting (time and place) of Jane Eyre. In this way, Wide Sargasso Sea conveys the postcolonial themes such as racial discrimination, racial inequality, and conflicts between races.

19. The events in Wide Sargasso Sea take place in three places: Two islands, Jamaica and Dominica and England. The events in Jane Eyre take place between 1798 and 1808 whereas Wide Sargasso Sea is set between 1834 and 1845. The time-frame used in Wide Sargasso Sea corresponds to the years of the Emancipation Act 1833, which is also known as the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 of the British Parliament abolishing slavery throughout the Great Britain and its colonies.

20. According to Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, as indicated in her article “Three Women’s Texts and A Critique of Imperialism”, the character Rochester is constructed around the Oedipus complex and the Antoinette character around the theme of Narcissus.

20. The Oedipal complex is a term used by Sigmund Freud in his theory of psychosexual stages of development to describe a boy's feelings of desire for his mother and jealously and anger towards his father. The analogous stage for girls is known as the Electra complex in which girls feel desire for their fathers and jealousy of their mothers.

21. In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Narcissus’ madness is disclosed when he recognizes his Other as his self. Rhys makes Antoinette see her self as her Other, Bronte’s Bertha.

22. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, in her 1986 essay, criticizes feminist critics for ignoring the figure of Bertha Mason in Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Spivak maintains that “it should not be possible to read the nineteenth-century British literature without remembering that imperialism, understood as England’s social mission, was a crucial part of the cultural representation of England to the English”.

23. Bertha Mason is depicted as a wild animal and nymphomaniac savage in Jane Eyre. By defining her in this way, Charlotte Brontë posits a direct link between Bertha and the savage Caliban of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest as Caliban was “the archetypal savage” (Nixon, 1994) in the nineteenth century English literature.

24. Bertha curses Rochester and uses obscene language just in a way the savage Caliban curses his master, Prospero. Rochester accuses her of sexual guilt and, just like Prospero with Caliban, he enslaves her. But Bertha’s position as a savage is worse than Caliban’s because Bertha is represented as more sexualized than Shakespeare’s savage and thus far more irredeemable.

25. To discuss the destructive effect of colonialism on the construction of human identity, the perennial postcolonial problem of finding a place for himself / herself, the concepts of mimicry, ambivalence and inbetweenness, and the cruelty of displacement and assimilation, Rhys uses the Antoinette (Bertha)

26. The race relationships of the novel are also underlined by the use of language in Wide Sargasso Sea. In order to represent English characters in the novel (such as Antoinette’s stepfather, Mr. Mason and her husband Mr. Rochester) Rhys prefers using Standard British English whereas the Jamaican varieties of English language are used to represent the Creoles and the local blacks.

27. In Wide Sargasso Sea, Antoinette is depicted as an object of another’s subjectivity. This is suggested when Rochester renames her and insists to call her with another name ‘Bertha’. She considers this act as another type of ‘obeah’, a form of dark magic practiced by the European people to colonize the non-Europeans.

28. In Wide Sargasso Sea, the English prejudices and presumptions about the Creoles and the local blacks, English self-centeredness and possessiveness and the concept of ‘Englishness’ are underlined through the Rochester

29. As Rhys considers empire and race as the main features of Jane Eyre, she focuses mainly on the implications of Brontë's and Victorian England’s celebration of the laws dictating that cultural, racial and sexual differences were to be considered as alien, sinful and abnormal.

30. The ending of Wide Sargasso Sea has caused many debates among critics. Some critics argue that Antoinette can not escape the fate that was prepared for her by Brontë because this character, just like Bertha Mason in Jane Eyre, commits suicide after setting fire to the Thornfield Hall.

31. The last and the shortest part of Wide Sargasso Sea, Part III posits a direct intertextual reference to Jane Eyre. How?

       a) The references to Grace Poole and Antoinette’s end -suicidal act of burning the Thornfield Hall to the ground -provide a direct connection between Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea.

      b) Rhys inserts Rochester’s words to Jane in Jane Eyre within her novel.

32. Rhys inserts Rochester’s words to Jane in Jane Eyre within her novel. The words repeated are “Infamous daughter of an infamous mother,” and “intemperate and unchaste”. This insertion providing a direct intertextual reference to Jane Eyre aims at underlining that these words cannot be read the same way. Nixon argues that “Antoinette's repetition of the words that Rochester has said to her and to Jane - a repetition of a repetition - creates a mis en abime effect, in which the two narratives reflect back on each other” (Nixon, 1994).

33. To describe the Thornfield Hall, Antoinette uses the noun phrase “this cardboard house”: “This cardboard house where I walked at night is not England” (Rhys, 1968, 114). “This cardboard house” – a book between cardboard covers- is a metonymy of Brontë’s Jane Eyre. What is the function of this metonymy? Antoinette understands that she doesn’t belong to the imperialist world reflected in Brontë’s novel, and the England in the novel is not the England she dreamt of. In this cardboard house everything was planned by Brontë.

34. At the very end of Wide Sargasso Sea, Antoinette understands the reason why she has been brought into the England of Brontë’s novel: “Now at last I know why I was brought here and what I have to do” (152). Why was she brought to Jane Eyre? She was brought here to play out the so-called ‘mad’ Bertha as her fictive Other to make Jane Eyre as the English heroine. Spivak indicates that she “must read this as an allegory of the general epistemic violence of imperialism”.

35. Epistemic violence is the destruction of non-Western ways of knowing and thereby the dominance of Western ways of understanding.

36. Madam Bovary was written by the French author Gustave Flaubert. Anna Karenina was written by the Russian author Count Lyev Nikolayevich Tolstoy. Aşk-ı Memnu was written by the Turkish author Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil and The Awakening was written by the American author Kate Chopin.

37. The themes conveyed in those four novels are the very similar: Betrayal by woman having extramarital love affairs (adulterous affairs) resulted in the suicide of woman, Criticism of society, The pains of transition from a classical society to a modern one.

38. There are twenty or twenty-five years between the publication date of these novels. They must be investigated to understand the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the times. All of them reflect the social and moral changes in their own societies during this period.

39. All of them are realistic (which movement) works.

40. Aşk-ı Memnu was written under the influence of Madame Bovary whereas Anna Karenina doesn’t have such an effect.

41. As Tolstoy was very interested in morality and educational reform, he criticizes the adulterous affair between Anna and Vronsky by comparing it to the relationship between Levin and Kitty.

42. Throughout Anna Karenina the character Levin supports in his arguments Tolstoy's outspoken views on the same issues.

43. As it is a great sin to commit suicide in Islamic thought, the theme of committing suicide cannot be found in any of the literary works. When Aşk-ı Memnu was written, the Ottoman Literature was under the influence of French Russian influence started after 1900’s.

44. Emma always feels that an invisible eye is watching her. The invisible eye symbolizes social constrains on her. This invisible eye is provided by Beşir’s eyes in Aşk-ı Memnu.

45. The first Turkish novel, Taaşuk-u Tal'at ve Fitnat ("Tal'at and Fitnat In Love") by Şemsettin Sami (1850–1904), was published in 1872.

46. The Edebiyyât-ı Cedîde, or "New Literature", movement began with the founding in 1891 of the periodical Servet-i Fünûn ("Scientific Wealth"), which was largely devoted to progress—both intellectual and scientific—along the Western model. Aşk-ı Memnu was serialized from 1899 to 1900 in the periodical Servet-i Fünûn.

47. As a noun, “bovarism” means an exaggerated, especially glamorized, estimate of oneself; conceit. Bovarism represents a personification in novel's characters, the creation of a parallel reality in which we are the main characters.

48. In his article, Emin Özcan works over three authors- Herodotus, John de Mandeville and Jean de Lery- to consider Comparative literature in its historical process. For Özcan, comparative literature was born as result of the desire of nations to identify themselves in the face of “Other” nations.

49. Özcan choses three examples from three different periods to explain his ideas. The first name from the Antiquity is Herodotus.

50. Herodotus, as an ancient historian who lived from 484 to 425 BC, and the author of the first great narrative history produced in the ancient world, the History of the Persian Wars, constitutes an example from the Antiquity. In his The History, he made comparisons based on similarities between the Greek and other nations.

51. From the Middle Ages, Özcan’s example is "Jehan de Mandeville", translated as "Sir John Mandeville", is the name claimed by the compiler of The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, (Voyages) a book account of his supposed travels, written in Anglo-Norman language, and first circulated between 1357 and 1371. Mandeville was a religious English knight and travelled to Jerusalem. Mandeville’s understanding of comparison is based on differences.

52. It is easily understood that there is a great gap between the ideas of Herodotus and Mandeville, reflecting the difference in the point of views during the centuries these two authors lived. Herodotus considers the “Other” from a wide and general perspective whereas Mandeville considers the “Other” from a more limited and mostly religious perspective. This gap reveals the different perspectives during the Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

53. Özcan’s third example was Jean de Léry (1536–1613). He was an example from the period of high colonialism. Jean de Léry was an explorer, writer and Reformed Pastor born in France. He accompanied a group of Protestant to their new colony on an Island in the Bay of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The colony, France Antarctique was founded by the Chevalier de Villegaignon, with promises of religious freedom, but on arrival, the Chevalier contested the Protestants' beliefs and persecuted them. After eight months the Protestants left their colony and settled on the mainland, near the Tupi people (an Indian tribe). These events were the basis of de Lery's book, History of a Voyage to the Land of Brazil, Also Called America (1578). Throughout this book, Léry describes his fascinating voyage across the Atlantic to Brazil. He compares the culture of the Indian tribes and cannibalism to that of the European civilization. He indicates that Europeans have behaved worse than cannibals because the persecutions by the Europeans are made because of the political purposes.

54. While comparing two different worlds, Herodotus moved from the known to the unknown, whereas Lery moved from the unknown to the known to determine the unknown feature of the known. In this type of comparison, in fact, his own culture meets its own self and tries to understand it better.



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