My Name is Red

My Name is Red

My Name is Red Chapter 33 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Shekure leaves, and Black feels both anxious and happy at the thought of their marriage. Black finds an imam and asks him for help with a legal proceeding, which the imam agrees to do for a bribe. Black says that Enishte is ill and wishes to have Shekure’s widowhood certified before he dies, and the imam happily obliges. Black imagines the rest of his day as four scenes depicted by a miniaturist. In the first, Black is traveling across the Bosphorus (the strait that runs through Istanbul) accompanied by the imam and his brother. In the second, Black gives a second bribe to an official in order to secure Shekure’s certificate of widowhood. In the third scene, a proxy for the judge refuses to grant the certificate until Shekure’s male guardian is present. The proxy is only persuaded when Black explains that he plans to marry Shekure and promises to make her happy. The final picture shows the proxy certifying the end of Shekure’s marriage and handing the document to Black.
From a contemporary perspective, Black’s impression of the “four scenes” of his mission to get Shekure’s widowhood certificate resembles a movie montage. Black himself, meanwhile, views his journey through the primary art form of his time—miniature painting. This suggests that miniature painting is such a major part of Black’s life—and life in Istanbul in general—that he begins to see his ordinary actions through the lens of this form of art. Furthermore, this proves correct the story Enishte told to the murderer—that painting can be so powerful that it influences the way people see the world around them.
Themes
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Rushing back to Enishte’s house, Black feels paranoid that other people will thwart his plan, guilty that he has not had time to mourn Enishte, and pleased that everything has gone well so far. Outside the house, Hayrire informs him that Shekure wants a wedding procession and that she has been cooking dishes for the reception. However, Black insists that the wedding must be small and melancholy, otherwise someone will try to stop it from taking place. Black goes to the imam and asks him to perform the ceremony; after some resistance, the imam agrees. Black then goes to the barber, who embraces him and begins gossiping about the neighborhood as if Black had not been gone the past 12 years. Suddenly, Shevket appears at the door, and hands Black a note from Shekure in which she states that she refuses to get married without a bridal procession. Black tells Shevket “all right.”
Even though they are about to be married, Black and Shekure still cannot communicate directly and must do so through other people. This makes their plan even more complicated; not only do they have to hastily arrange their marriage while convincing everyone that Enishte is still alive, but there is a constant risk that they will miscommunicate or fail to appropriately carry out the other’s wishes. There is also no possibility of discussion, and thus when they disagree over the wedding procession Black must either overrule Shekure’s wishes (as conventional gender roles dictate) or honor them against his will—which is what he does.
Themes
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Black goes back to Enishte’s house, where a small crowd has gathered. Shekure emerges, wearing a red bridal dress and pink streamers. As the procession begins, Black realizes that Shekure insisted on having it in order to secure the approval of the neighborhood for their marriage. As the crowd around them joyfully shouts good wishes, Black still feels nervous that the wedding may be sabotaged at any moment. He also feels sad for Shekure about the fact that the wedding is modest and held at such a melancholy time. When they arrive back at the house, they are immediately struck by the smell of Enishte’s body rotting. However, Hayrire has lit the room such that it is impossible to tell that Enishte is actually dead, and thus he serves as Shekure’s legal guardian during the ceremony. Just as it seems a “nosy” person is about to ask Enishte about his health, Black grabs Enishte’s hand and loudly promises to take care of Shekure and leans in so as to pretend that Enishte is whispering something to him. Once the ceremony is over, Black goes to the women’s room to tell Shekure that they are now married and that Enishte wishes to speak with her. They go to the room where the body is, kiss Enishte’s hand, and then passionately kiss each other.
The wedding itself is a tragicomic event. On one level, many extremely funny things take place—particularly when the ceremony is held around Enishte’s dead body and Black must convince the attendees that Enishte is still alive. This surreal scene blurs the boundary between life and death; although Enishte is dead, he is still made to play an active role, and is forced to consent to a marriage of which he did not exactly approve during his life. Meanwhile, the reader knows that Enishte is not truly gone but is instead in the afterlife, and presumably knows about the marriage. Although his body is giving approval for the marriage, we can imagine that his soul is watching on from somewhere else and possibly opposing it. While the chapter ends on the happy (and amusing) note of Black and Shekure kissing, this is overshadowed by the fact that neither have yet had a chance to grieve.
Themes
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon