Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

nce Memed

nce Memed, or Slim Memed, a young man who is eighteen years old when he takes up his calling. During the difficult early years of his life, when he experienced beatings and privations, he became physically stunted and somewhat gnarled; he never grew to his full height. He has developed into a hardened, bitter young man who nevertheless can manage an ironically cheerful smile much of the time. He falls deeply in love with Hatçe, and his attachment to her leads to a violent confrontation with Abdi Aa and his minions. Memed becomes an outlaw, but of a special sort; rather than subjecting innocent wayfarers to suffering and indignities, he decides to avenge acts of oppression and injustice Abdi has perpetrated. Toward the end, he rejoins Hatçe and marries her. She is killed in a gun battle. In a final act of bold defiance, he rides up to his rival’s house and shoots Abdi dead.


Deuneh, Memed’s mother. She grows wheat and is compelled, at a rate more unfavorable than that imposed on others, to turn three-fourths of her crop over to Abdi. When Memed and Hatçe run away from the authorities, Abdi and Veli trample Deuneh to death.


Hatçe, a young woman. After an adolescent courtship, she becomes Memed’s lover. At about the age of sixteen, she leaves Veli, her nominal betrothed, behind; when fighting erupts, she is captured by Abdi’s men and accused, falsely, of murder. After Memed rescues her from captivity, she remains with him and becomes his wife. She gives birth to his infant son but later is killed during an armed confrontation.

Abdi Aa

Abdi Aa, a powerful local landowner. He has a long, sharp face; small, calculating eyes; and pink cheeks, as well as whiskers that have brought him the disparaging epithet of “goat beard” among the villagers. He is unusually cruel and grasping even by the standards of such potentates....

(The entire section is 802 words.)

The Characters

(Literary Essentials: World Fiction)

The extreme polarization of social relations in the region described in Memed, My Hawk makes it possible to regard the major characters as essentially of several types. To be sure, there are some variations, and there are cases in which some individuals seem to act on one and then on another side of various disputes, but for the most part the struggle between the forces of an unjust order and the brigands imposes distinctions that are acknowledged all around by the various figures in this novel. At the same time, the elements of ambivalence that exist in some characters impart added interest to them, though in other cases there are some who simply are not so fully developed as others. At times as well, the author seems reticent in tracing the thoughts and inner lives of various individuals, even as changes of scene and action would otherwise seem to bring them into focus.

At the outset Memed is portrayed as a tough, simple, hardworking youth who is grimly conscious that he has been grievously wronged by Abdi and his henchmen. His frustration and bitterness are likely to flare up all at once; it is particularly significant that, very much in addition to resentment at the reign of injustice in his village, it is a quarrel over Hatce that goads him finally into becoming an outlaw. He seems mercurial and is given sometimes to feats of derring-do for their own sake; this propensity is demonstrated notably during some gun battles and in his agile manner of scaling rocky slopes when he is in flight from the authorities. The motive of vengeance evidently weighs heavily upon him; many of his exploits are directed specifically at bringing down his adversary. He does, however, have some sense of fair play, and he possesses some discernment about the actual loyalties and intentions of other characters. Memed’s own basic scruples lead him to abandon Durdu and his accomplices; for that matter Memed is careful to recognize those from the other camp who have assisted him as well. Unlike some other bandits, Memed does not turn to indiscriminate pillage and looting for their own sake; though this question is taken up more conclusively in a later...

(The entire section is 880 words.)