Censorship by Social Pressure on “the Other” on the Loiterer

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CENSORSHIP BY SOCIAL PRESSURE ON “THE OTHER” ON THE LOITERER

Gamze Önem
TR 111, Rhetoric and Composition for Translators
January 14, 2013

The Loiterer (Aylak Adam), Yusuf Atılgan (1959) is a literature book with its philosophical layers and socio-cultural aspects. The book praises especially the critical thinker and the one who is able to come over the social pressure. Rather, it criticizes “those who accept familiar tastes without questioning”. Its main character C., events taking place around him and Guy Montag with his adventures are quite alike. For the way Montag thinks and behaves is should be forbidden in his world, the similarities between the two would put The Loiterer among the forbidden books in the world of Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury (1951).

What is the reason for this book to be banned in the future of Ray Bradbury’s? As the main concern of the censorship is “the dangerous knowledge”, the book must have this knowledge, which could lead people to be out of the mechanisms of social control of the time. The best way to show this is to describe the relations between two novels after giving a brief summary of The Loiterer.

In the novel The Loiterer, C. is a man who spends his time going to movies, reading books and visiting art galleries instead of working in a “regular job”. He is opposed to everything. Besides, he hates “the easiness of the habitual acts” and the routine. The book tells the story of the search of a true love, which is free of role-playing. It also shows his obsessions coming from his early memories by describing how his personal choices in life are affected by the childhood experiences.

C. cannot complete his socialization because of his father. He is not able to appropriate his father’s values, like authority and wealth, due to the moral conflicts, which can be explained by the Oedipus complex. This makes him isolated from the society and deprived of “being like others”. Although it can be interpreted negatively, it actually carries him from wandering around as a loiterer to the new construction of his personality. In some way, this is needed for him to find himself to search his “hold”.

What the book tells us is that “the others” are those who perform unconscious acts. They lack their holds and they are lost in the chaos of the daily work, as well. They buy peace cheap by giving money to beggars. Even C. spends money probably to relieve from being interacted with people. Reaching peace by spending money is the same objective in Fahrenheit 451 when people purchase parlor walls to make themselves happy.

In the first place, C.’s and Montag’s being alike comes from their opposition formed by their changing attitudes towards the worlds they live in. C.’s life alters when his father seduces C.’s aunt in front of him. As the life of an individual is built by the family first, the father’s behaviors shape the personality and the future of the young man. On the other hand, Montag greets books differently after the unexpected meeting with Clarisse which alters his whole way of life: “Maybe the books can get us half out the cave. They just might stop us from making the same damn mistakes!”(Bradbury 2012, 70) It can be easily predicted that neither the life of C. nor the life of Montag would be the same as before. The next step, their positions to the conditions of the community need to be analyzed. C. uses the knowledge he attained through his philosophy. He refuses working for a living and lives upon his dead father’s income. When he says “If my father were a man, I would not be a man” (Atılgan 2011, 122), he not only refuses his father’s job but also he disapproves of the consumer society and the moral corruption because his father was a rich broker and the seducer of his aunt. On the other hand, Montag starts to pursue a life according to his own beliefs and he neglects the norms of the society by not continuing his father’s job. Here, abandoning the...
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