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A Handful of Dates

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Heylaanaa riya

on 1 December 2014

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Transcript of A Handful of Dates

Known for dates
Probably in Dubai or Saudi Arabia because they are known for their dates
Majority of the population must be Muslim because there are is a mosque and the Koran is referred to in the story a lot
At the beginning, the mood was happy but by the end of the story the mood became depressing
The rich/upper class seem to have a lot of pride, greed and treat the classes below them with no respect
The theme of
"A Handful of Dates"
is “money changes people”. The grandson loses respect for his grandfather because of his greediness. In the beginning, the grandson would praise the grandfather. In the text it says,
“My grandfather, however, jumped to his feet and I saw that his eyes sparked momentarily”
(Page 126). The grandfather wants more and more. The story shows greed and power can make people crazy.

Connections: The movie
→ Adam Sandler’s character, Michael Newman, has a remote control where he can fast forward or rewind his life. In the movie, he’s an archeologist who only focuses on work and earning money. This results in Michael losing his family and only wanting money.
Quote #1
Man vs Man:
>Grandfather and Masood → Strong hatred towards one another.

Man vs Himself:
> The boy loved his grandfather, but towards the end he develops a strong hate for his grandfather because of his actions.
What events impacted the boy to change his impressions about his grandfather?
What is the narrator's initial impressions about Masood?
What characteristics of the grandfather did the boy admire to idolize him?
Does the grandfather’s actions agree with their Religion? Why or Why not? Explain.
Did the main character’s point of view of his grandfather change for the better or for the worse. Why? Or Why Not? Explain.
How do you think the narrator feels about his grandfather's explanation of Masood's "indolence"?
In the end, if the grandfather acted differently towards Masood how would this change the end of the story?

“...I would go to the the mosque to learn the Koran.” -Page 104

This passage conveys the social condition in the story. According to the text, it involves a Muslim community. This information is known because a mosque is a place of prayer or worship for the Muslims. Therefore, the quote tells the reader what type of society is taken place.
Quote #2
“I do not know why it was I felt fear at my grandfather’s words-and pity for our neighbour Masood” -Page 126
This passage shows the empathy the narrator has for Masood. According to text, it shows the narrator is starting to see his grandfather differently because of his actions. Therefore, this quote tells the reader that the grandson’s perspective on his grandfather is starting to change for the worse.
Recap of Story:
A Handful of Dates
By Tayeb Salih

The guy (male narrator) is a dynamic and a round character → the grandson idolizes his grandfather until he sees that his grandfather is greedy and selfish. He is dynamic and round because he changes his views on his grandfather at the end of the story.
The grandson is arrogant and intelligent
“I believe I was his favourite grandchild... [I] was an intelligent child.”
(Page 125)
“This was news to me for I had imagined that the land had belonged to my grandfather ever since God’s Creation.”
(Page 125)
> The grandson idolized his grandfather

Masood is a dynamic character → Masood treated the grandfather badly in the past but now he changed his actions. However, it is uncertain if Masood did treat the grandfather poorly because it is a bias statement.
”He’s an indolent man and I don’t like such people.”
(Page 125)
> The grandfather is a hypocrite because he says he does not like indolent man, yet he was the one who fell asleep

The grandfather is a flat and a round character → the grandfather was always selfish since the start of the story. He is greedy because he bought two thirds of Masood's land yet he still wants more. Also, he is still treating Masood badly, which shows that he is type of person who holds grudges.
“You’re still fifty pounds in debt to me.”
(Page 128)

This particular short story is about a young boy who idolizes his grandfather and pictures him as a God.
They are Muslim, so they go to a Mosque daily.
The boy thinks of his grandfather as “pure” and compares him to a river, and he wants to grow up and be just like his grandfather.

Rising Action:
Masood, the neighbour of the grandfather, informed them that he was harvesting the dates and asking if they wanted to come help.
They accepted the invitation.
There was a long history between the grandfather and Masood
-> They didn’t like each other at all.
->The grandfather claimed this because Masood has treated him poorly.

While Masood harvested the dates, the grandfather sat and watched him.
Once the dates had been harvested, the grandfather gave some of the dates to the boy and then started to divide them.
The grandfather and the others separated the dates and left none for Masood.
The grandfather said that Masood was still in debt to him.

Falling Action:
The boy ran off because he now had a feeling of hate towards his once worshiped grandfather -> He was mad and completely shocked at the way he treated Masood.

The story ends with the little boy running right to the river and throwing up all the dates that he had just eaten into the river -> He compared his grandfather to the river and his grandfather owned the dates, which shows a sense of irony and disgust.

Quote #4

“Quickening my pace, it was as though I carried within me a secret I wanted to rid myself of.”
-Page 128

The quote explains how the boy hid his feelings of hatred and disgust towards his grandfather at the sudden moment. He believed his grandfather was the good man. The disgust he suddenly felt was the breaking down in his grandfather’s idolization. Feeling disgust towards the one he loved the most was the terrible thought. Therefore, by the time he felt the disgust, he immediately wanted to rid himself of it, to be free from this thought.
Quote #3
“Palm trees, my boys, like humans, experience joy and sorrow.” -Page 127
The quote replicates how Masood feels. He was happy at first, and now all that is lost. The palm trees experience this when at first they are completely full of dates which is the joy (Masood’s feels happy as well) and then once everyone harvest them they become empty resembling the sorrow and joy that is lost (Masood when he lost everything).This is what Masood meant by this quote when he told the boy.
Point of View
First Person Central → Male Character
The point of view is first person central because the beginning of the story states:
“I must have been very young at the time.”
(Page 124)
Full transcript