Study Questions and Suggested Essay Topics
Given Sharma's ideas about power in relationships between men and women, who do you think is more powerful in Pakistani culture? Why?
If you asked Shabanu if she wished she had been born in the United States, what do you think she would say? Why?
Describe the character of Auntie. Does Staples want us to despise or feel sorry for her? Why do you think so?
Suggested Essay Topics
Describe Phulan and Shabanu. How are they similar? How are they different? Who is stronger? Who is happier?
Based on Shabanu's story, what similarities and what differences do you see between life in Pakistan and life in America? What do you think causes those differences?
What do some of the animals' names mean? What do these names tell you about Cholistani people in general and Shabanu's family in particular? What else in the book supports your observations?
Was Shabanu right to try to run away, or was she foolish in doing so? Why do you think so?
Is Shabanu more or less free than Phulan? Sharma? Nazir Mohammad? An American teenager?
Who is the strongest man in the book? Why do you say so? Who is the strongest woman? Why? Be sure you define "strength" in your answer.
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