Questions after reading “A Devoted Son”
- Examine Desai’s characterization of Rakesh and Rakesh’s father. Remember, this goes beyond a character summary to an analysis of how the character is created. Who do you like better, Rakesh or his father?
- Cultural: Look up the word devotion in the dictionary and note its various meaning. Is Rakesh a “devoted” son? How does the treatment of the elderly in India and in the U.S. differ?
Questions after reading “The Thief”
- Do you think this story has a surprise ending, or were you alerted to the outcome throughout the narration? Explain using evidence from the text.
- Ironically enough, honor plays a large part in this story. Look up the word and get a thorough understanding of its meaning. Then discuss how the idea is used within the story. Was the narrator an honorable man?
Questions after reading “Another Evening at the Club”
- How does the author use flashback, syntax and any other literary elements you may discover to reveal the reality of Abboud and Samia’s marriage?
- Cultural connections: What does the story tell you about the social position of women in Egyptian society? Interpret the last line…why is Samia smiling at the end of the story?
Questions after reading “Tell Them Not To Kill Me!”
- “Tell Them Not To Kill Me!” is told alternatively in the first person “I” and the third “he.” What different effects are achieved by hearing details of Nava’s crime from him, from an outside narrator, and later from the victim’s son?
- There are many instances of revenge and redemption in this story. Where and how do they occur? Speculate on what biblical or cultural traditions these may be based.
Questions after reading “The Mother of the Child in Questions”
- After looking so closely at the initial setting, speculate why the author start the story this way. How and why does she set up the dichotomy of setting between the outside world and inside the apartment?
- The story is called the "Mother of the Child in Question." Why does the author choose this title? Doesn't the story take place in the eyes of the social worker? Why "the child in question" when we know her name (Shireen)?