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The Cry of the Dove
Transcript of The Cry of the Dove
Presentation By: Ashley McKinsey, Ivette Teran, and Trisha Murphy
Born in Amman, Jordan in 1956
She gained her BA in English Literature from the University of Jordan, Amman before he moved to Britain in 1984
She completed an MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster University
The University of East Anglia awarded her the first Ph.D in Creative and Critical Writing in 1990
She has three other novels:
Pillars of Salt (1996)
Willow Trees Don't Weep (2014)
She currently teaches creative writing at Durham University
Salma Ibrahim El Musa:
(protagonist) a woman who is running from her family for fear of being killed for a pregnancy out of wedlock. She has 2 other identities. Sally Asher is the persona that is assimilating into Western language and culture. Sal is the third identity, and is what Elizabeth calls her, it is her experience of oppression and exploitation.
Salma’s lost daughter who was taken from her at birth. Her infant cries haunt Salma and call her back to her home in the Levant.
Salma’s alcoholic landlord. She is an older woman who has become disoriented due to her displacement out of her role as colonizer in India and a love affair gone tragically wrong. She is one of the representations of colonial exploitation when she subjugates Salma to a servant in her own home.
Salma’s racist, British boss who exploits her by taking advantage of her “immigrant status” and giving her an unjust wage. He becomes somewhat of a dynamic character once he begins to treat Salma with more kindness, giving her a raise and demonstrating sympathy towards her.
Salma’s roommate at the hostel in Britain. She is a Pakistani who is running from a marriage arranged by her family. She is educated, she was working on a sociology degree before she ran from home.
Salma’s Welsh older friend. She is a retired headmistress who lives alone and is neglected by her one and only son. She kindly befriends Salma and makes a point of not using her, as she demonstrates when she claims she doesn’t want to becomes dependent on Salma.
A man from Salma’s Bedouin tribe in Hima who takes her virginity that results in the pregnancy that leads to Salma’s imprisonment.
Salma’s older brother who attempts to kill her to save the family’s honor. Salma projects his image as a shadow that follows her around Exeter as a result of trauma.
Salma’s closest cellmate in the Hima prison. She nurses Salma back to health after Salma gives birth. She was charged with prostitution that she resorted to in order to sustain herself and her two children after losing her job.
was imprisoned when she was found naked under a lamppost. She fell into hysterics when she began to fear her replacement when she heard rumors of her husband seeking a second marriage.
Salma’s English tutor who marries her and fathers her child, Imran.
Major Quotes, Themes, Ideas
"They will kill me, shoot me between the eyes" (37). "When I got pregnant with you, Layla darling, my mother begged me to leave the village before my brother found out. 'He will shoot you between the eyes with his English rifle. You must go, daughter, before you get killed.'" (75).
"The heavily made up sales girl fluttered her eyelashes, which were caked with mascara, and look suspiciously at me. She'd made up her mind. I was not the type of woman who would buy her new exclusive summer range ... I looked down at my worn-out walking shoes and bit my tongue. You know, if I were her I would have thrown me out of the shop, a woman like me, trash. My tribe had raided her country seeking cheap booty. I would have got me arrested if I were her" (12).
Salma describes her home back in the Levant as an organic system of fields, animals and simplicity. "Instead of walking up the mountains looking for sage bushes, picking the soft green leaves, washing them then drying them, there they were: cut, squeezed and stored into little dark blue bottles for ma lady's convenience" (5).
Major Quotes, Themes, Ideas
"Apparently in England the police stop you in the street and check your papers and sense of belonging regularly. An immigration officer might decide to use my ability to digest fish as a test for my loyalty to the Queen" (3) (150).
In some ways, Liz’s hysterics is a reflection of the displacement that is suffered from the loss of the home and family. Liz is the representation of the displaced colonizer that is haunted by her past of subjugating and being served. Liz is also similarly haunted by memories of her past. "While on the landing waiting for the taxi I heard Liz's laughter, she said, as if talking to one of her Indian maids, 'Slaves must never breathe English air'" (179). Salma is ostracized and pushed out of her home for deviating out of the gendered sexual customs established by her society, which results in hallucinations , depression, and paranoia. "Gone were the days when I was a farmer, a shepherdess, a peasant girl. I am now a seamstress, an assistant tailor in a shop in Exeter..." (4).
What did you think of the ending?
All of the texts and movies have been about frontiers. What frontier(s) is this text navigating?
Compare/contrast this text with previous ones we have studied. How are they similar/different?
How does Salma's role as a woman differ from the women we have seen in previous texts? How is her role similar?
Major Quotes, Themes, Ideas
"Now Salma the dark black iris of Hima must try to turn into a Sally, and English rose, white confident, with an elegant English accent, and a pony" (4). "Salma resisted, but Sally must adapt. I kept looking up
Oxford English Dictionary: Adapt: fit, adjust, change
" (3). "'Can I get you anything else, Sally?" he asked. 'Salma,' I said" (230).
"Alcoholic women, prostitutes and killers of husbands watched while I, the sinner, gave birth on the floor of the Islah Prison . Madam Lamma fixed her pink scarf, wiped her face with both hands and hugged Noura, whose tears were running down her face when she said something that I could not understand. 'Some day you will ... One day you will ...'" (44).