Character Plot Pyramids

Today we began character plot pyramids after finishing the documentary on Iran and the West and discussing connections between the way the war was protrayed in the documentary and in the novel.

Here’s the documentary: Iran and the West

Here’s the handout.

For this week, you’ll need to read chapters 9-13 which are The Trip, The F-14s, The Jewels, The Key and The Wine.

Please bring your completed responses to the following questions FRIDAY.

The Trip

Vocabulary – Fundamentalist, Decadent, Ideological

Questions – 1.  What’s with the picture on Marjane’s dad’s newspaper?  Have you seen any pictures like it recently? 2.  What is the significance of the difference between the two types of women wearing the veil and the two types of men with or without facial hair?  3. Can you think of any other times in history when your inner beliefs might have been shown to the outside world either by law or by choice?

The F-14s

Vocabulary – Coup d’etat, Defeatist

Questions – 1.  Why do you think Marjane is so ready to fight?  Do you think she is correct?  2.  Do you agree with the statement, “War always takes you by surprise”?  3.  Why did Marjane’s dad turn to the BBC to hear the news after watching it on Iranian TV?  4.  What do you think about the statement, “I wish he were alive and in jail rather than dead and a hero.”  5.  How do you think this might have affected Marjane given her earlier feelings about heroes?

The Jewels

Vocabulary – None

Questions – 1.  Why is there such a shortage in the grocery store?  2.  Has that ever happened in the United States?  Could it happen again?  What would you do if it did?  3.  Why are the women turning on each other?  Can you think of another situation where people have turned on “their own kind”?

The Key

Vocabulary – Secular, Nuptial, Carnal, Initiation, Flagellate

Questions – 1.  What do you think Marjane means when she said, “That’s very Persian, the philosophy of resignation”?  How do you think this philosophy might have hurt them?  2.  Why do you think death and self-flagellation became such important symbols of Iranian culture?  3.  What’s the symbolic significance of the plastic key covered in gold?  4.  Why do you think people enlist in our military?  Do you think they will get what they are promised?  Would you enlist?  Why or why not?  5.  While Marjane was partying, poor kids were dying.  What do you think about this?

The Wine

Vocabulary – Instinctive, Anxiety, Glimpse, Denounce, Vintner

Questions – 1.  Why would parties and card games be forbidden?  2.  Was alcohol ever forbidden in the United States?  Why do you think they forbid it?  3.  Do you think this was a good idea?  Why or why not?  4.  What similarities can you find between Iran and the U.S. when it comes to alcohol prohibition?


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