This Just In:
Superstition Gives A Sense of Control!
Superstition seems to be a prominent theme in Dorit Rabinyan's novel Persian Brides, which is told with magical realism, and has much impact on the characters' lives. Throughout the book, many events are explained using superstition, and some events even seem to occur because of them. Why does the author choose to have her characters use superstition and curses so often? Do the characters' fulfill their prophecies subconsciously, or do these premonitions and fears really have substance? Does superstition have a mythical, magical quality?
Why Is Superstition Used
Many superstitions were attempts to explain events within everyday life, such as weather, that science -then and now- could not explain. Many times, they will seem absurd, but it must be remembered that superstitions were once rooted in serious thought. It can also be noticed that some superstitions are no longer practiced yet a few have managed to "change with the times," and still be acceptable.
Often these superstitions are still 'invoked' today because they are glimpses into a culture's past. Silly in basis as some may be, they hold evidence of how people once thought and what they once feared. The superstitions also hold fragments of older views of society and religious thoughts and disciplines. Calling it nonsense, however, does not stop the sharing of superstitions. Some have been proven accurate even if worded unscientifically.
Ms. Rabinyan reflects this need for her characters to feel in control of the unexplainable by not only using, but also living this folklore. Each of the characters grew up hearing legends, stories, and superstitions, and so they too adopted them to live by. One of the main characters, Miriam Hanoum, one of the members of the Ratoryan family, exemplifies this more than any of the...