Non-Western Literature

Discussion Questions for Al-Shaykh, week 2


These questions should be reviewed before reading the material, as well as after. Be prepared to answer these questions in class.
  1. Why is Suzanne, an American, in this Arabic country? Why is she having to leave at the end of her section?

  2. Can Suzanne be trusted as a narrator? Is there evidence that she sometimes exaggerates or makes things up?

  3. In your opinion, what ends Suzanne and Maaz' affair?

  4. Suzanne also had a job, but like Suha, gives that job up eventually. Why does Suzanne, especially in comparison/contrast to Suha, give up her job?

  5. Nur, like several of the other women, has had several marriages. However, her attitude and response to those marriages appears to be very different. Why?

  6. Saleh makes the claim that Nur's problems are due to her upbringing. What problems does he mean, and how did her upbringing cause them?

  7. At one point, Nur indicates that "more and more I felt that marriage meant freedom, and especially material freedom." What does she mean by this? Why does she feel this way, and Suha and Tamr, at least, don't?

  8. Explain what Nur does that causes Saleh to refuse to allow her to travel and threaten her with divorce.