Reinterpreting the story, "Shahmaran's Legs" by Murathan Mungan with reference to values education?
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CitationDemir, H., Şahin, H. (2015). Reinterpreting the story, "Shahmaran's Legs" by Murathan Mungan with reference to values education?. Electronic Turkish Studies, 10(15), 289-298.
As well as the academic achievements, raising people who have adopted the basic human values is among the basic aims of the educational institutions. The reason is that gaining a respectable place in the society depends on a person’s compliance with the system of values which is transferred from generation to generation. These values are the phenomena which inhold the features of being a ‘good person’ and have the global features such as honesty, reliability, friendship, humility, respect, responsibility, patience and loyalty. A person acquires these values from the school, family and the social environment as from birth. In the oral narrations such as tales or myths belonging to some cultures, sometimes it is seen that these values are -sometimes by highlighting their reverses- aggrandized. These tales and myths that were listened to/read during the childhood can be forgotten in time. One of the ways to recall them is their partaking in the modern narrations. In this study, “Shahmaran’s Legs”, which is a story by Murathan Mungan and a work in which a mythic narration and modern story are composed is examined in the context of education of values. The story of Shahmaran from 1001 Arabian Nights is liked by the people very much and overtold in different variants. Mungan, abiding by the anonymous structure which has a few interwoven stories, makes the story of Ilyas the apprentice of basilisk and his master the frame story for this corkscrew. In the story which is based on the foresight “man will betray’’, it can be seen that besides “loyality”, “trust”, “love”, “patience” and “austerity”, some values like “forgiveness”, “sacrifice”, “constancy”, “merit” are evoked in the reader. To make these values a part of the life by interiorising them will give the humanbeing peace and happiness. One of the main aims of education is to help individuals adopt the value judgements of society. Taking academic achievement as a basis only is not sufficient for individual and societal peace. It is also important to educate individuals for them to have higher emotional quotience and to adopt basic humane values. Although some of the “values” regarding society and people have been neglected a bit lately due to competitive life standards, the studies related to “value education” have increased, since the importance of these values for both society and individuals are now understood. Values that are taught by the family initially continue in the school and social environment. Societal peace may decay if these values impacting individuals’ behaviours directly are not sufficiently passed on to future generations. This is why, every culture would like to pass on value judgements that have been refined over centuries to new generations. These values, which are at the same time used as a social supervision mechanism, not only help prevent inappropriate behaviour but also help ratified behaviour to be embraced and reinforced. When the individual sees that his behaviour is ratified by society, he turns them into “values”. Myriad methods can be carried out when helping individuals earn values that remind them of the necessities of being good people and regulate social life. The mentioned values can either be conveyed by giving direct advice or by literary work. Even though literature is for literature’s sake, the reader can empathize with the characters and events through empathy. This way, the reader can sense the values in the subtext by putting emphasis on the opposite values. Fairy or folk tales and legends in Turkish literature that have been passed from one generation to another for centuries stand as witness of this folk wisdom. One of the ways for these values to be transmitted to our youth is reinterpreting these values in modern narrations. In this study, the story called “Şahmeran’ın Bacakları”1 written by Murathan Mungan who is inspired and motivated by traditions has been studied, read again and related to value education. The story of Shahmaran which takes place in 1001 Arabian Nights with the name “Yeraltı Sultanı Yemliha’nın Öyküsü” 2 , talks about the prophet Danyal’s son, Camasb. This tale which is narrated in the form of interwoven stories, talks about Camasb spending his days with Shahmaran. In Persian literature, the same story, called “Camasbname” in masnavi, has been taken as a reference by classical Turkish literature. The story of Shahmaran was not only the subject of classical Turkish literature but was also narrated in different versions by the people of Anatolia. Especially in southeast Anatolia, different reproductions of Shahmaran are made and mounted on walls and are believed to protect people from the negative energy of evil people and provide abundance. Murathan Mungan’s story, called “Shahmaran’s Legs”, adheres to the original story but narrates it in a modern frame. In 1001 Arabian Nights some stories are framed within other tales and there are inner tales within those tales. Just like 1001 Arabian Nights, Murathan Mungan designates a frame story. This is the story of İlyas tasked to a Shahmaran master to work as an apprentice. İlyas, who is the narrator, talks about his feelings of admiration, love, jealousy and infidelity towards his master in this frame. Shahmaran’s story which is told by the master to İlyas is the second story in the spiral. Camsap who is betrayed by his friends decides he would like to see his family again. Therefore, Shahmaran helps him leave, provided that he promises not to tell anyone about her since Shahmaran’s and her vassals’s lives are based on secrecy. What is more, mankind had previously betrayed Shahmaran. She tells İlyas the story of Belkıya who was the first person to betray her, which is the third story in the spiral. Shahmaran’s path crosses Belkıya who followed the doomsday prophet he read about in the Old Testament and when he promises to keep her secret, Shahmaran releases him. However, Belkıya reveals her secret since he is overwhelmed by Ukap’s ambition of capturing the seal of Solomon. Shahmaran and her vassal have to go underground and live there due to this betrayal. On the other hand, while Belkıya is trying to get back home, he comes across Cihanşah on the road and his story is the fourth story in the spiral. After having listened to Cihanşah who was waiting on the graveside of his wife, Gevherengin, Belkıya returns to his country with the help of the Prophet Hızır who is believed to come in time of need. When Shahmaran fills up the thousand and one nights with fairy tales, she understands that she won’t be able to keep Camsap with her any longer and releases him. However destiny doesn’t change and Camsap betrays Shahmaran as well. Mungan completes the story by concluding İlyas’s story, the frame story which is above the concluded sub-stories. İlyas stops trying to be a Shahmaran master which is considered a betrayal towards his master and therefore a parallelism is drawn among Camsap, Belkıya and İlyas. It can be seen that values emphasized by Mungan in the story dwell on “loyalty” and “trust” as the story “Shahmaran’s Legs” is based on the foresight that “humankind will betray”. Additionally, the reader can sense the values such as “love”, “perseverance”, “being content with what one has”, “forgiveness”, “altruism” and “virtue”. The story of Shahmaran which takes place in 1001 Arabian Nights was embraced by people and continues till today via centuries of narration. Murathan Mungan who reinterprets the story in a modern fame has made sharp inferences regarding human psychology. Feelings such as betrayal, ambition, eagerness and stone heartedness are brought to the forefront to aggrandize values like perseverance, remaining true to one’s word, love with devotion and being content. Those of humankind that has made the values a part of their life will gain peace and happiness on earth.Eğitim kurumlarının temel amaçları arasında akademik başarının yanı sıra temel insani değerleri benimsemiş bireyler yetiştirmek de yer alır. Çünkü kişinin toplumda saygın bir yer edinmesi, nesilden nesle aktarılan değerler sistemi ile uyumlu olmasına bağlıdır. Bu değerler; dürüstlük, güvenilir olmak, dostluk, alçakgönüllülük, saygı, sorumluluk, sabır, sadakat gibi evrensel nitelikleri olan ve özünde “iyi insan” olmanın özelliklerini barındıran olgulardır. Kişi, bu değerleri doğumundan itibaren aile, okul ve sosyal çevreden edinir. Kültürlere ait masal, efsane gibi sözlü anlatılarda da -kimi zaman tersi ön plana çıkarılarak- didaktik olmadan bu değerlerin yüceltildiği görülür. Çocuklukta dinlenen/okunan bu masal ve efsaneler büyüdükçe/zaman içinde unutulabilir. Onları tekrar hatırlamanın yollarından biri, modern anlatılarda yer bulmalarıdır. Bu çalışmada, efsanevi bir anlatının modern öykü ile birleştirildiği bir eser olan Murathan Mungan’ın “Şahmeran’ın Bacakları” adlı öyküsü, değerler eğitimi bağlamında incelenmiştir. Binbir Gece Masalları içinde yer alan Şahmeran’ın hikâyesi, halk arasında çok sevilmiş ve farklı varyantlarla söylenegelmiştir. İç içe geçmiş birkaç hikâyeden oluşan anonim yapıya sadık kalan Mungan, şahmerancı çırağı İlyas ve ustasının hikâyesini de bu sarmalın üstündeki çerçeve hikâye hâline getirmiştir. “İnsanoğlunun ihanet edeceği” öngörüsüne dayanan öyküde “sadakat”, “güven”, “sevgi”, “sabır” ve “kanaatkârlık”ın yanı sıra “bağışlayıcı olma”, “fedakârlık”, “sebat”, “erdem” gibi değerlerin de okura duyumsatıldığı görülmektedir. Bu değerleri içselleştirerek hayatının bir parçası kılmak, insanoğluna huzurun ve mutluluğun kapısını açacaktır.