Summary (Masterplots II: World Fiction Series)
A young boy’s entrance into full-fledged manhood is accompanied by social realizations that lead him onto what, by official standards, are wayward paths; still, most people in his native village regard him as a local hero. Eventually his name takes on semilegendary connotations. Along the way a number of odd encounters take place which dramatize the distinctions between formally constituted authority and the basic notions of justice that common people in Turkey actually hold. The story begins with nce (Slim) Memed, who has grown up without a father and has spent much of his time with his mother, Deuneh, or with other relatives in nearby villages. Rather early, his relationship with Hatce, a neighbor girl, blossoms into a full-scale love affair; she finds a way around every obstacle her family puts in the way of their courtship. Soon her songs to him have become known throughout the area. It is not long before they become engaged, and in a breathless fit of passion they make love under the open sky. In other ways, however, their lives are complicated by the grasping intrigues of Abdi Aga, a dubious character whom the others disparage as a sallow, goat-bearded old man. This local grandee insists upon returning a smaller share of the wheat crop to Memed’s mother than he allows the other villagers to retain; he routinely beats those he considers to be beneath him, and he mishandles Memed severely. One of his ambitions is to have Hatce married to his nephew Veli. By a...
(The entire section is 1073 words.)
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Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
In a village called Deyirmenoluk, located in the Taurus Mountains of Turkey, Slim Memed and his mother, Deuneh, live at the mercy of their cruel landlord, Abdi Agha, who terrorizes them and takes two-thirds of their crops annually. Unable to endure the agha’s beatings, Memed flees from his village, escaping over the mountains to the ranch of Old Süleyman. For several weeks, he lives as Süleyman’s adopted son, herding goats and enjoying himself. One day, however, he drives the goats too far and encounters a man from his village. News soon spreads that Memed is alive, and Abdi Agha goes to Süleyman’s ranch and forces the boy to return. As punishment for Memed’s disobedience, his family has to forfeit three-fourths of their crops, and they nearly starve that winter.
Several years pass, and the oppression continues. As he matures into manhood, Memed grows bitter and callous under the agha’s reign of terror. Only fifteen-year-old Hatche, the most beautiful girl in the village, can inspire tenderness in the young man. Soon after Abdi Agha announces the girl’s engagement to his nephew, Memed and Hatche elope. They make love in the hollow of a rock during a rainstorm.
Furious at Memed’s disobedience, the agha enlists Lame Ali, a skillful tracker, to find the couple. In a violent encounter in the forest, Memed wounds Abdi Agha and kills his nephew, then flees from the scene. Hatche returns to the village,...
(The entire section is 972 words.)