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A Handful of Dates

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Cassandra Layton

on 23 September 2014

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Transcript of A Handful of Dates

A Handful of Dates
The Taking of the Dates
Masood is in debt
Can't eat the dates, smells them, then puts them back (Needs all his dates sold to pay back the debt)
People gather dates, but eat most of what is harvested
Grandfather sleeps and doesn't help harvest (hypocritical: "Masood is an indolent man")
Suddenly wakes up, and along with a couple other men, divides up the sacks of dates, eating most of them
Gives a handful to the boy





Boy realizes that grandfather is bringing Masood further into debt
Analysis of The Date Taking
Smart
- Can sight passages from Koran and is praised by people in the Mosque
"I believe I was his favorite grandchild [...] I-so they say-was an intelligent child." (125)

Respectful
- Respected his elders such as his grandfather and Masood
"I loved him and would imagine myself, when I grew to be a man, tall and slender like him, walking along with great strides." (125)

Kind
- Cared for Masood and tried to comfort him
"I felt myself drawing closer to Masood, felt my hand stretch towards him as though I wanted to touch the hem of his garment." (128)

Masood
Chararization
Main Theme
Memories of Past
The river
The Mosque
Love his grandfather
Love for the land ("dreams and playground")
The Escape
Boy notices that Masood is upset and tries to comfort him
Masood cries, the boy feels sickened
Boy run into the distance and hesitates when grandfather calls but keeps going
sees a perspective he has never seen before
feels betrayed
The Release
Boy keeps running
Now feels that he hates his grandfather
When he reaches river bank, he throws up the dates he ate
THE INVITE
Masood invites the Boy and the Grandfather to harvest his dates
Grandfather immediately agrees
Boy notices Masood's love for the date palms
The Palm Trees
Characterization
Boy
Grandfather
Selfish
- Wants all Masood's land and does not care for Masood
"I think that before Allah calls to him, I shall have bought the remaining third as well." (126)

Serious
- Has no sense of humor
"My grandfather never used to laugh"(126)

Unforgiving
- Will not bend to help Masood
"Suddenly my grandfather woke up, jumped to his feet and walked toward the sacks of dates." (127)

Relentless
- Will not stop until all the land is his
"You're still fifty pounds in debt to me" (128)
Characters Introduced
The Boy





The Grandfather
Smart
-
"I believe I was his favorite grandchild [...] I-so they say-was an intelligent child." (125)
Respectful
-
"I loved him and would imagine myself, when I grew to be a man, tall and slender like him, walking along with great strides." (125)
Role Model-
"I loved him and would imagine myself, when I grew to be a man, tall and slender like him, walking along with great strides"(124)
Characters Introduced
Masood- Grandfather's
neighbour
Literary Devices
Acts of Character
Literary Devices
Perception of character can be changed, by the actions one may take.
Characterization
Caring-
Cares for his palm trees – compares them to himself – cares for other living things
“Palm trees, my boy like humans, experience joy and suffering.” (127)

Patient-
Doesn’t get angry at people (i.e. grandfather) when he finds out that he is still in debt. Instead he just cries
“I heard him make a noise in his throat like the rasping of a lamb being slaughtered.” (128)

Hesitant-
Always seems nervous, doesn't stop people from eating his dates
“his eyes were darting about to left and right like two mice that have lost their way home.” (128)
Masood- his character is developed through the book, from what the boy sees.
"[...]watching Masood aloof from that great gathering of people he stood as though it were no concern of his, despite the fact that the date palms to be harvested were his own. Sometimes his attention would be caught by the sound of a huge clump of dates crashing down from on high."(126)
"Be careful you don't cut the heart of the palm."


The Grandfather
Literary Devices
Greedy/ Selfish
- He causes harm upon his neighbor, Masood, by taking the dates that does not belong to him, he puts his neighbor further more into debt
Unforgiving
- Will not move to help Masood
"Suddenly my grandfather woke up, jumped to his feet and walked toward the sacks of dates." (127)
Literary Devices
Relentless
- Will not stop until all the land is his
"You're still fifty pounds in debt to me" (128)
"I carried within me a secret I wanted to rid myself of." (128)
Symbolism
- the river symbolizes something he loves (Grandfather) "...I was put in mind of the way the river.." (pg)
When he throws up the dates in the river it symbolizes how his perception of his grandfather changes much like the dirty river
Boy hears Masood make a noise that sounds like "the rasping of a lamb being slaughtered" (pg128)
Symbolism-
Masood is as innocent as a lamb yet has to suffer because of the boy's grandfather taking his land away
This illustrates the amount of pain and grief the grandfather was causing him
Literary Devices
Flashback- "I must have been very young at the time."(124)

1. Introduction of the story
Masood says: "Palm trees, my boy, like humans, experience joy and suffering." (127)
Metaphor
- is comparing the trees to himself- how he used to find more joy in life but is now suffering

Grandfather's eyes sparkle with "intense brightness" (126) when he hears about harvesting Masoods dates
Imagery
- can picture vividly how excited he is for this event if his eyes are "sparkling with intense brightness".
Normally would not be too excited.
Eyes sparkle usually when one is to gain something. Grandfather may be earning more money through the harvest.
Can see how excited he is to gain something even if Masood has to suffer for the success of the grandfather.
a man harvesting dates from the palm tree
Everyone eats the date loses profits owes grandfather
50 pounds more (has to give the rest of his land away)
An invitation to join for the harvesting.
Use of structural irony:
"I heard a low whistling sound and saw that my grandfather had fallen asleep" (127) (the situation itself is ironic since the grandfather was telling the boy that Masood was an indolent man and there he is in Masood's land sleeping and taking the easy way out by just taking Masood's profit)
Character Development
The Grandfather-
-the new way his grandson thinks of him based on his own actions
Resolution
Conflict
Climax
Literary Connection
Media Connection
Memories of the Past
The Invite
The Taking of the Dates
The Escape
The Release
Plot Graph
Rising Action
Falling Action
Written by: El Tayeb Salih
A Handful of Dates connects to the movie frozen
It connects because the main character looks up to his grandfather and is disappointed and Anna looks up to Hans and is disappointed
Both the short story and the movie relates to perception being altered by the actions that are taken
A Handful of Dates connects to the book City of Bones
These two stories connect because all of the students in the institute looks up to their teacher Hodge Starkweather until they realize that he is bad, similar to A Handful of Dates
Full transcript