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A handful of dates.
Transcript of A handful of dates.
By Tayeb Saleh
The short story starts of as a flashback which is narrated by the boy, Tayeb. This story reveals the boy's innocence, youth and love of nature as well as love and respect for his grandfather. The young boy, Tayeb, idolized his grandfather as a god. Their neighbour Masood, who had inherited a large sum of land from his father, was forced to sell the land to the child’s grandfather due to an increasing number of wives on his part. Grandfather wanted to have all the land that Masood once owned. Therefore, looking at his grandfather being merciless to Masood Tayeb was depressed.
• Masood owned the whole land forty years ago in the story.
• Each time Masood got married he would sell the grandfather a feddan or two.
• Masood have three wives.
• Masood asked Tayeb and his grandfather to help harvest the dates, although Tayeb didn’t think that Masood didn’t want grandfather to participate.
The main conflict in the story "A handful of dates" is human vs human which mainly took place between grandfather and Masood.
Point of view
The story is in the first person. "I must have been very young at the time."
• Tayeb Saleh went everywhere with his grandfather, except in the morning when he had to go to the mosque to learn the Koran.
• Tayeb loved the Mosque, the river, and the fields- these were the landmarks in their lives.
• Tayeb would love going to the mosque, but the other children in his age group hated going.
• Tayeb looked up to his grandfather as a idol.
• Tayeb believed that he was his grandfather’s favourite grandchild.
• Tayeb would recited the Koran for his grandfather, and he could tell from his face that he was moved.
• The grandfather disliked their neighbour.
• The grandfather owns two thirds of the land.
• The grandfather believes when Allah calls to him he shall
have bought the remaining third.
• The grandfather was jealous of Masood for owning all of the land.
• The grandfather continues to remind Masood that he owes him fifty pounds.
Tayeb went with his grandfather to the dates harvesting, in Masood’s property. Tayeb noticed that Masood wasn’t eating any of his dates.
Tayeb realized his grandfather was selfish and his idolization turned into hatred towards his grandfather.
After the grandfather told Masood that he had a debt to pay, Tayeb saw that Masood was in a type of pain, he felt his pain and wanted to reach out to touch him.
The story ends with Tayeb puking out the dates, which he felt were dirty.
Another conflict is human vs human which was between grandfather and grandson.
Money and the need of wanting more leads an individual to lose the touch with one’s humanity and therefore they become corrupted.
The grandfather clearly illustrates the theme through his actions.
He protagonist changed by facing very difficult problems that leave him depressed.
Simile: “As for his beard, it was soft and luxuriant and as white as cotton wool......”
Symbolism: “ then, without knowing why, I put my finger into my throat and spewed up the dates I’d eaten.”
Imagery: “.....I would sit on the bank and gaze at the strip of the water that wound away eastwards, and hid behind a thick wood of acacia trees.”
Flashback: “I must have been very young at the time.”
Amandeep kaur, Corner, Mahommad, Christen.