My Name is Red

My Name is Red


Orhan Pamuk

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My Name is Red: Chapter 16 Summary & Analysis

Shekure admits that every time Esther leaves her house, she feels “confused” and “wretched.” Orhan comes in, and Shekure puts away the letters and embraces him. She asks him if he would wish to have a father, and he replies he wouldn’t because he wants to marry her himself. Shekure then goes to see Enishte, who admits that he is distressed by Elegant’s murder. Shekure tells him that she would like to get married as soon as possible and Enishte is shocked, reminding her that she is already married. Shekure says that the previous night she dreamed her husband had died, and Enishte replies that although this is enough to convince him, a judge would need further proof. Enishte blinks hard, a nervous habit. He confesses that he’d been afraid of being murdered because of the book, but if Shekure and the boys leave he will “welcome death.” Shekure stops herself from mentioning the fact that she knows Enishte sleeps with Hayrire at night. Enishte asks who wants to marry Shekure; she doesn’t respond and her eyes fill with tears. Later, Orhan comforts her, and Shekure asks the reader to forget what she said about Enishte and Hayrire.
Shekure is a very passionate person, yet she lacks conviction and confidence in her opinions. This is likely due to the fact that, as a woman, her ability to make decisions about her own life is restricted by both legal and cultural norms. Even though Enishte loves her and seems to want her to be happy, he nonetheless uses his authority as her father to prevent her from getting remarried and leaving his house. Furthermore, Shekure’s mention of the fact that Enishte sleeps with Hayrire demonstrates the fact that—when it comes to sex—different rules apply for men and women within the world of the novel. Whereas Shekure is not allowed to get remarried until it is definitely proven that her husband is dead, Enishte is able to sneakily sleep with the enslaved girl he owns while everyone turns a blind eye.
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