A Handful Of Dates Essay

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Journal Entry #1: Tayeb Salih ‘’A Handful of Dates’’ October 25, 2011 Tayeb Salih’s short story ‘’A Handful of Dates’’ is a story that suggests that being powerful can’t always get you what you want and keep people close to you. At first the story seemed very particular; I didn’t understand why the little boy threw up the dates in the river, what the dates represented. To me, the river represents the boy and the grandfather’s relationship going away, along with his admiration for him and his attachment to his role model. Through the story, the boy realizes that money and business are more important to him, than to respect another human being which we can see when the grandfather calls Massoud an ‘’indolent’’ man. Irony is very present when the grandfather treats Massoud very badly, maybe to prove to his grandson that he is an influential man, but it has the opposite effect on his grandson, he is repulsed by his acting and prefers to go towards Massoud than to stay with his grandfather. The boy can see that Massoud is a humble, merciful man, who doesn’t care about money, he only wants to be friendly with people around him, though these same people, who eat his dates all along for free. After another reading, I think that the boy makes himself throw up because he is disgusted by his grandfather’s actions and feels like the dates might relate him to the acts these men commit. The conflicts in the story are exposed to the reader. The conflict between the grandfather and Massoud is openly described; Massoud owes money to the boy’s grandfather. Only this same external conflict causes the boy to have an internal conflict in the end when he learns that his grandfather is actually not that good and honest in his life. He then doesn’t know how to feel about his elderly because he is disgusted by the actions, but he is still very close to him. The boy finally decides to run

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