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Flashcards in ITCOM Paragraphs Deck (13)
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1

Introduction

Hisham Matar's 2006 novel, 'In the Country of Men', chronicles the summer of 1979, when "the sun was everywhere" and the impact of Gaddafi's oppressive regime was wide-reaching.
(sentence on prompt themes)
Though..., Matar ultimately presents that...

2

Paragraph: Suleiman is endangered by Faraj and is prematurely stripped of his innocence.

-Faraj might argue he is "fighting for a better Libya for...Suleiman"
-Faraj "away on business" leaves Suleiman with a hole in his family unit
-Sharief = "gun", "Baba's fiery English mints"
-"My Land, Your Land" echoes political games of fathers, tension causes Suleiman to lose Kareem's friendship "traitor"
-gruesome execution detail "fainting" "trousers...wet" "something yellow" leaves "no illusions" of innocence equating immunity
-"heavenly" mulberries symbolism, Faraj spits "chewed up berry into the dirt"
-bitter tone 24-yo Suleiman suffers "an ever-present absence"

3

Paragraph: Najwa is endangered by Faraj

-Najwa prefers "walk by the wall"
-ironic Faraj "fighting for a better Libya" = Libya's worst
-"recklessness" leads to "heavy...huge frame" of "the Guide" hung in house, symbolises Gaddafi infiltration into the sanctuary of the domestic sphere, burden of upholding appearance of loyalty.
-symbolic and physical = Revolutionary Committee raid, "medicine" illegal, at risk
-serve "tea" to "those rats" out of fear they will "put [Faraj] behind the sun"
-1979 Libya, social security tied to Faraj, must be "a good wife, loyal and unquestioning", give up dream to "see the clouds above [her] country", see Libya "a distant map, reduced to lines, reduced to an idea"
-bargain for Faraj's release, "cake", "eyes wide open, eager to convince"
-word choice "inauguration into the dark art of submission" = "dark day" implies submissive wedding behaviours "accept[ing] slavery over death"

4

Paragraph: Najwa lost her innocence due to the men of her family, both past and present.

-flashbacks and tragic retellings = "clarity of innocence" stolen by "the greed of men"
-fourteen, innocent moment "the Italian Coffee House", destruction of identity as a "girl", "thrust...over the border into womanhood."
-metaphors husband "executioner", uncle's betrayal "dagger", wedding day "black day" = figurative death of innocence
-fairytale heroine Scheherazade, Suleiman reveres, Najwa "wretched woman" and a "coward who accepted slavery over death", disparity shows lack of innocence
-sacrifice dreams to "see the clouds above [her] country" and see Libya "a distant map, reduced to lines, reduced to an idea" to remain "loyal and unquestioning" to Faraj "recklessness"

5

Paragraph: Matar uses Najwa to present that hope has the potential to be restored through love.

-stuff from earlier paragraph about how she needed to give up dreams and sacrifice innocence
-p.123, Suleiman recalls how Najwa used to sing like "a girl unaware of herself...a moment before the Italian Coffee House"
-repetition on p.213, Faraj returned, Najwa "floating with love" = reclaiming of innocence lost
-final line of novel, Suleiman bitterness evaporates "Mama! Mama!" = love can restore hope

6

Paragraph: The Resistance Men destroy the idealism of the hero.

-Matar depicts Resistance men as heroes (+ children)
-deconstruction of these images reflect movement as "massacre in the making", no such thing as "hero"
-Najwa chides Moosa and Faraj "children playing with fire"
-as sun is a ball of fire and is symbolic of Gaddafi, implies that Resistance attempts are as idiotic and dangerous as child with fire.
-sun symbolism continues, Najwa "change" = "clouds" that "flit away"
-accentuates naivete "handful of men" who "hide together in a flat", choose "conveniently located" headquarters to be "museum"
-Suleiman narration might encourage reader to view Najwa sceptically
-Suleiman reveres the idea of the hero
-Rashid "heroic chords", "undying loyalty", "heroic drip of blood"
-wants to be Najwa's "prince", "white horse"
-Yet Faraj "melted like butter" came home alive, Rashid "hero" brutally executed, no one "immune from being burned"
-Suleiman reflection "where were the heroes...the happy endings" = final death of hope/idealism

7

Paragraph: Suleiman's interactions with Bahloul demonstrate how Gaddafi and his regime encourages oppressive behaviour.

-Matar likens oppression to a plague
-Suleiman emulates Gaddafi's behaviour in the face of another fearful force, Bahloul
-Bahloul notices "strange smell" Najwa's alcohol, Suleiman "handful of stones", "hurled them at him", fear of spreading "smoke" illegal drinking
-similar to Gaddafi executing Rashid for involvement with Resistance, movement spreads information discrediting Gaddafi
-Later, Suleiman nearly drowns Bahloul "secret rush of power", pleasure in fear mimicked by "spectators...punching the air and cheering", "happy" at gruesome execution
-after garden encounter, symbol of Gaddafi as sun reflected in "how hot [Suleiman's] head had become", Suleiman "hot" as sun, ruthless as Gaddafi

8

Redefine the "Suleiman is endangered by Faraj" paragraph in terms of the different themes.

Oppression = Suleiman is oppressed due to association with Faraj.
Guilt = Despite being innocent, Suleiman is labelled as guilty due to his association with Faraj.
Betrayal = Suleiman is betrayed by Faraj.
Innocence = Suleiman's innocence is stolen due to Faraj.
Roles of men and women = Suleiman's view of men is warped by Faraj.
Family = Faraj's absence severely affected Suleiman.
Absence/loss = Suleiman's sense of absence was caused by Faraj.

9

Redefine the "Najwa is endangered by Faraj" paragraph in terms of the different themes.

Oppression = Najwa is oppressed due to association with Faraj.
Guilt = Despite being innocent, Najwa is labelled as guilty due to her association with Faraj.
Betrayal = Najwa is betrayed by Faraj.
Roles of men and women = Najwa illustrates women's lack of choice in 1979 Libya.
Family = Najwa is endangered by her husband.
Absence/loss = Najwa suffers from an absence of free will and choice.

10

Redefine the "Najwa lost her innocence" paragraph in terms of the different themes.

Oppression = Najwa faces both physical and emotional oppression.
Betrayal = Najwa is betrayed by her family, both past and present.
Innocence = Najwa lost her innocence due to her family, both past and present.
Roles of men and women = Najwa represents what becomes of women in the “country of men”.
Family = Najwa lost her innocence due to her family, both past and present.
Absence/loss = Najwa suffers from a loss of innocence and choice.

11

Redefine the "Hope has the potential to be restored" paragraph in terms of the different themes.

Oppression = Love has the potential to reverse the effects of oppression.
Betrayal = Love has the potential to reverse the effects of betrayal.
Innocence = Love has the potential to restore lost innocence.
Roles of men and women = Though men were the cause of much of Najwa's trouble, their love has the potential to restore hope.
Family = Though family was the cause of much of Najwa's trouble, their love has the potential to restore hope.
Absence/loss = Absence and loss are not permanent.

12

Redefine the "The Resistance Men destroy the idealism of the hero" paragraph in terms of the different themes.

Oppression = The oppression faced by the Resistance Men proves that under Gaddafi's regime, there is no such thing as heroes.
Betrayal = The Resistance Men betray Suleiman by destroying his idealism of heroes.
Innocence = The innocent idealism of heroes is destroyed by the Resistance Men.
Roles of men and women = The Resistance Men redefine Suleiman's view of heroic men.
Absence/loss = Suleiman's sense of absence is in part caused by the Resistance Men destroying his idealism of heroes.

13

Redefine the "Suleiman and Bahloul" paragraph in terms of the different themes.

Oppression = Oppression is a contagious plague.
Guilt = Guilt and fear encourages oppressive behaviour.
Betrayal = Gaddafi, a distant by omnipresent authority in Suleiman's life, betrayed him by encouraging oppressive behaviour.
Innocence = Gaddafi and the examples he sets are a primary causes of Suleiman's prematurely lost innocence.
Family = The dysfunction in Suleiman's family drives him to oppressive behaviours.
Absence/loss = Suleiman's sense of absence drives him to emulate oppressive behaviour.