white castle

white castle - The Unattainable Dream Orahan Pamuks novel,...

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The Unattainable Dream Orahan Pamuk’s novel, The White Castle , is about two men from different cultures whose identities are so similar that they see themselves as brothers and sometimes as the same person. The novel is a story told by an Ottoman astrologer that has an Italian slave, who has the same pursuit of knowledge, science, and writing. Throughout the book, the two learn about each others’ mind and life that they feel as if they could switch places and become the other. The Ottoman, Hoja, narrates the novel to the traveler, Evliya Chelebi, as if he and his Italian slave switched places and that he is the Italian. Hoja wants to show that the difference between people in the two cultures of East’ and ‘West, Ottoman and Europe, and ‘us’ and ‘them’ is not as separated as the two cultures see each other. Hoja tells his story, which could seem meaningless, as a fairy tale, a nightmare, and finally a tragic separation to show that one must search within another self, and not just look into a mirror, in order to answer the question: “Why am I what I am.” (p. 58). The novel begins with a young Italian man narrating his experience as a prisoner of the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Sultan Mehmet IV in the mid-seventeenth century. Captured at sea, he becomes a slave for a pasha of the Ottoman Empire. Through his knowledge of science, medicine, and astrology, he is able to escape hard labor and finds himself under the supervision of an Ottoman astrologer known as Hoja. The Italian and Hoja exchange their knowledge with each other. Throughout the first portion of the novel, Hoja, with the help of the Italian, sets of firework displays and teaches the young
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This essay was uploaded on 04/16/2008 for the course HIST 258 taught by Professor Kilic-schubel during the Spring '07 term at Kenyon.

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white castle - The Unattainable Dream Orahan Pamuks novel,...

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