The reading for this week dealt with Hasan’s exile for backing up his brother in law. His travels and experiences are interesting, and I was intrigued by the custom of throwing gold coins at his departure.
However, I am continually fascinated by the romance in the novel. As mentioned in previous blogs, his relationship with his slave Hibin is extremely complicated. He leaves her with his family instead of taking her with him, what does that say about his love for her and relationships men had with slaves in this time period? I feel that there is a social boundary that is impossible to cross in these times, and all of the relationships in the novel seem extremely rigid. There is a way to marry, and there is a way to love your slave. These boundaries cannot be crossed.
This is interesting in comparison to today’s standards. I was wondering where our boundaries lie today in the US. Certainly there are laws that display the social norms, but I feel that family has more to do with relationship standards than society as a whole. It seems that in general we value monogamy, and marriage as a tribute to that bond between two adults of opposite sexes. In different families and locations there are other standards put on top of that. For example: whether or not premarital sex is frowned upon, how early dating should begin, what types of people should date (based on gender, age, race, class). There are a host of unspoken rules today, just as there were in Hasan’s time. I keep wondering in this class if society really does change, or if each society just interprets human nature with a different set of rules.