In "The Djinn Falls in Love" and "Hurrem and the Djinn" in the book The Djinn Falls in Love and other Stories, edited by Murad and Shurin, what themes develop in each story? How are they similar and how are they different?

Quick answer:

Both "The Djinn Falls in Love" and "Hurrem and the Djinn" revolve around the idea of obsession and its destructiveness. "The Djinn Falls in Love" views love as a source of torment and captivity, while "Hurrem and the Djinn" has a more complicated and multifaceted treatment of obsession, one which is closely intertwined with its feminist perspective.

Expert Answers

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First of all, when thinking about these two works in particular, I would suggest you think in terms of themes and the larger ideas they both express. For example, both seem to discuss ideas about obsession and the degree to which people can become captive to it.

In "The Djinn Falls in Love," this is expressed in the poem's opening lines, where even when freed from the chains, the djinn remains held in a state of captivity. You might also consider the meanings contained in phrasing such as "love eating my soul like an acid," encapsulating the degree to which the poet seems to view love itself as a powerful source of torment.

I would suggest that these same themes are expressed in greater complexity in "Hurrem and the Djinn," which combines themes of obsession, mysticism, as well as rampant misogyny, with the sorcerers' conviction that Hurrem, the beloved of Suleiman the Magnificent, must be consorting with djinn to have accrued such influence and power. You might note that the themes of obsession work on multiple levels: Davud is ultimately destroyed by his obsession, but for Hurrem, it seems to emerge as a weapon of sorts (the desire that Suleiman has for her), and the only real source of power that she, as a woman within the masculine world of the Ottoman Empire, is able to wield. In these respects, this story combines fantasy with history, viewing them both from within a feminist perspective, as it examines the male-dominated power structures of the Ottoman Empire.

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