My Name is Red

My Name is Red

My Name is Red Chapter 36 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
After Shekure returns to the boys’ room, Black listens anxiously to the sounds of the house. He stares at the illustrations for the book, trying to come up with a story. In the morning, Black is awakened by Hayrire shouting. Shekure tells the children that Enishte has just died; Shevket replies that Enishte in fact died in the night and asks Black if he killed him. Shekure shrieks in mourning, and Black begins to cry, too. They embrace and Black announces “La ilahe illallah, There is no God but Allah” and recites a chapter of the Koran. They move Enishte’s body so his head faces Mecca and they cover him with a white sheet. Black collects the illustrations for the book and goes to the mosque. He asks the imam to perform the death rites for Enishte, giving him another gold coin.
Having hidden the fact that Enishte was dead for over a day—and in doing so broken Islamic law—Black, Shekure, and Hayrire immediately launch into a performance of grief and do the appropriate religious rites for Enishte’s body. At this moment, they are finally able to express the grief that they have been suppressing up until that point, and thus the performance is authentic even if it is also rather duplicitous.
Themes
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Black then sets off to the palace to inform the Sultan. He goes to the door of the Sultan’s Head Treasurer, where a number of royal artisans are also waiting. When it is Black’s turn to enter, he tells the clerk that he needs to speak with the Head Treasurer about a book the Sultan has commissioned and shows him the illustrations. When the Head Treasurer finally appears and asks if Enishte is dead, Black is so overcome to be in his presence that he begins to weep. Overwhelmed by his proximity to the Sultan, Black confesses everything to the Head Treasurer, from his marriage to Shekure to his difficulty in finishing the book. He also relates his suspicions about who might have killed Enishte, and why. The Head Treasurer asks where the final illustration is, and Black explains that the murderer stole it. The Head Treasurer also inquires after the text, and is shocked to learn that Enishte was illustrating a book without a story for a whole year. Black then confesses that Enishte knew that one of the miniaturists murdered Elegant, and that he suspected it was either Butterfly, Olive, or Stork. He panics that the Head Treasurer will think he is a liar, but when the Treasurer says they should keep Enishte’s death a secret, Black feels that the Treasurer believes him.
Up until this point, the role of the Sultan and his impact on Istanbul society have not been explored in any detail. Furthermore, Black himself has not said anything to make it seem like the Sultan has any particular importance to him. However, as soon as Black is face-to-face with the Head Treasurer he is completely overcome with emotion and confesses all the secrets he has been guarding so closely up until this point. This strange turn of events illustrates the insidious way in which power operates. The Head Treasurer does not even have to say anything to get Black to confess everything to him. Simply the fact that Black is in the palace and near the Sultan makes him immediately let his guard down and behave in a somewhat ridiculous manner. This conveys the Sultan’s power and shows how this power is sustained.
Themes
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon