ANALYSIS OF EAST AND WEST IN ORHAN PAMUK’S WHITE CASTLE USING LEVI-STRAUSS’ METHOD OF BINARY OPPOSITIONS


Ocak Yeltekin E., Görmez A.

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON LITERATURE, CULTURE AND LANGUAGE, Van, Turkey, 26 - 28 May 2022, pp.343

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Van
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.343
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

Binary opposition is one of the major concepts of structuralism, which sees distinctions as the basis of all language and thought. French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, classifies the human mind through binary opposition, the oppositions between two opposite things which define society in terms of good and evil. This structuralist theory indicates that our understanding of certain words depends on the difference between the word and its opposite rather than the meaning they contain. Binary oppositions are seen as balancers of the world which are seen in White Castle one of Orhan Pamuk’s most known novels. White Castle considered a post-modern tale is rich in binary oppositions. The novel focuses on the east-west binary, cultural identity, and differences. The author touches upon universal and historical issues, especially a synthesis of east and west conveying two similar characters in two opposite cultures, along with other oppositions between the characters. In this context, Pamuk expresses the development of science in a theoretical language. This study aims to interpret east and west in terms of binary oppositions. Throughout the novel, these two contrasting characters try to understand each other's identities focusing on such binaries as 'me' and 'other', ‘east-west’, and 'master-slave'. This article aims to explore how Pamuk examines the differences as well as the similarities of these binaries in White Castle in line with Levi Strauss' method of binary oppositions.

Keywords: East-West binary oppositions, Post-modern novel, Levi Strauss, Orhan Pamuk, White Castle.