Annie Lam 7/23/08 People Like That Are The Only People Here: Canonical Babbling In Peed Onk 1.

Why do you think everyone in the story is referred to by their title/ profession? Why doesn't the author use their names instead? What is the significance of the author using capitalizations on certain words? Is it the same way Arundhati Roy uses it? Do they have the same connotations? 2. How would you describe the attitudes of the medical personnel at the hospital? Do you think they really have a deep understanding of the pain the families go through when their children are diagnosed with a terminally ill decease? Do you think they are insensitive or do you think it is just their way of coping with seeing pain and death by distancing themselves from understanding? Is it a good idea (as a doctor or surgeon) to be feeling pain everytime you see a child die? How would one function properly as a medical personnel if emotions and irrationality always got in the way? Were people at the hospital just doing their part or were they just being totally insensitive? Cathedral 1. What is the style of the narration? Why is the narrator so casual in telling the story? How does it capture the reader's attention in doing so? How does the style of the narration cause readers to care about what's going on with the characters in the story? 2. What can we infer based on the narrator's tone and language? How did the
narrator feel about the blind man in the beginning? What differences stand between the blind man and the narrator? How is their interaction in the end? What does the narrator realize in the end?

In the beginning of the story, the narrator talks about the blind man and who he is. He also describes his wife's interaction with the blind man and the exchange of tapes they mail to each other. The nameless narrator speaks in fragmented sentences and describes everything the way he understands things in a very casual, informal tone. The narrator does not go into depth with details because he is not good with words. The narrator does not seem to express care or empathy for the blind man. He is insensitive to sensitive issues that went on, such as expressing displeasure for the fact that the blind man's dead wife was black. Based on the narrator's tone, we can see that he is ignorant, arrogant, insensitive, insecure, out-of-touch and even a bit jealous. He is not happy with his life because he hates his job, lacks intimacy with his wife, and has no motivation or purpose in life. We can see the narrator’s character when he expresses apathy about the arrival of Robert, the blind man. The narrator first sees Robert as a stereotypical blind man and does not

care to get to know him. His “idea of blindness came from the movies.” His ignorance is in a way, his blindness. When Robert is chatting in the living room, the narrator disregards the fact that Robert is blind and turns on the television. He also talks about the “scenic ride” from New York despite the fact that Robert cannot see. Because the narrator does not know any better, he lacks the understanding to empathize with others. We can also see the narrator’s jealousy come out when he listens in on the conversation between his wife and Robert. “They talked of things that had happened to them – to them! ...I waited in vain to hear my name on my wife’s sweet lips.” It bothers the narrator that this blind man has come into his wife’s life and takes attention away from him to Robert. It is likely the narrator needs attention to feed his insecurity because he lacks intimacy with his wife. The narrator finally has an epiphany when Robert asks him to draw and describe a cathedral for him. Robert, being self sufficient, sensitive and empathetic, already has an idea that the narrator is a troubled man. He decides to reach out to the narrator by asking him to describe a cathedral. The narrator is not good with words so he decides to draw one. When the narrator closes his eyes and lets Robert follow his hand while he draws, the narrator for once, is in the shoes of someone else. He feels what Robert feels and does not see his blindness as a disability, but as a gateway to a better sense of feeling and understanding. This is where his epiphany begins. “It felt like nothing else in my life up to now.” The narrator was blind to understanding but now gains the ability of insight. For once, he can finally think of another rather than care for no one but himself.

The Third and Final Continent 1. How did they narrator feel towards his wife in the beginning? What are some evidence of the awkward feelings and moments? Does he make a good husband despite his lack of affection towards his wife? How do you think his wife felt towards him? At what point in the story do you think they finally connected? Why? 2. Describe Mrs. Croft. Despite her coldness, why do you think the narrator still became attached to her? Does she remind him of his own mother? If so, in what ways? What moment in the story does Mrs. Croft's human side come out? Why does the narrator admire how old she was? Love in the Marketplace 1. What is Sansan's view on marriage as opposed to her mother's? Why does her mother want her to get married to Tu? Why doesn't Sansan want to marry Tu? How would she feel about herself if she had married him? What does Sansan want out of marriage? How does the nickname Casablanca fit Sansan? What are the parallels between the Casablanca story and Sansan's love life?

2. Why does Sansan cut the man? What does she see in the man that her mother doesn't? Why is it so important for Sansan to keep a promise? What promise is the man keeping? Why wouldn't he take the money without being cut? How does this scene give more meaning to the story? What do you think Sansan wants her mother to know?

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