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A Handful of Dates

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Jill-Anne Santiago

on 27 November 2013

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Transcript of A Handful of Dates

A Handful of Dates

Tayeb Salih


Characters
PLOT
Conflict
Narrator
Retells the story of his grandfather and Masood through a flashback
Thought his grandfather was a noble man and looked up to him --> develops a feeling of disgust at the end due to the way his grandfather treats Masood
round & dynamic

The Grandfather
highly idolized by grandson
“tall and thin with white beards and sharp noses”
“extremely tall”
we can imply that he has honor and wisdom in society due to his age
selfish and holds grudges
static & flat
Masood
an “indolent” man as described by the grandfather
forty years ago: inherited all the land through his father (now only owns 1/3 of it
each time he got married he would sell the grandfather land
married many times
round

Introduction
The story starts with the introduction of the child and grandfather. Information is given about the relationship between the child and his father; they were not close. The child is much closer to his grandfather and would mostly spend time with his grandfather rather than his father. He also enjoyed going to the mosque to learn the Koran while many of the other children around his age resented it.

Rising Action
Information is given about the relationship between the grandfather and Masood. Masood inherited a great amount of land from his father, however he sold it. The grandfather considers Masood an “indolent” man and dislikes him.

Climax
The grandfather, Masood, the child, Hussein the merchant, and Mousa the owner of the field next to theirs gathered together and went to harvest the dates from the field. The child was filled with a sense of confusion, he was questioning the actions of everyone in relation to Masood; who was doing all the harvesting while his grandfather sat down and did not help him.

Falling Action
The full story between the grandfather and Masood is told to the child. He realizes that there was tension between them because of debt. Masood is still in debt to his grandfather, thus he has been treating him terribly. At this time, the child feels sorry and guilty for what his grandfather did to Masood, his highly idolized grandfather fell below his standards and expectations.

Character vs. Character
Masood vs. the Grandfather

"We'll be harvesting the dates today," said Masood. "Don't you want to be there?"

I felt, though, that he did not really want my father to attend.
Character vs Self
Narrator vs. Himself

I ran off into the distance. Hearing my grandfather call after me, I hesitated a little, then continued on my way.
CHILDHOOD
Themes
REALITY
Narrator is exposed to the truth of reality rather than his childish imagination.
In the narrator's childhood, his grandfather was his hero.
SETTING
The mosque:
Most kids loathed going to the
mosque, but the narrator
loved
it.
SETTING
The Middle East:
The setting sets the mood
of the plot by making the
characters follow traditional
customs.
Full transcript