You are on page 1of 3

In The Country of Men- Study Guide

SYMBOLS y y y y y y y y Mulberries- Represented as the forbidden fruit which can somewhat relate to the rights and freedoms being forbidden in Libya Democracy Now- The book saved from the pile of books burned, represents knowledge and what Baba is fighting for Green Shutters- Green is represented by the color of Revolution Medicine Bottle- Suleiman explains Mamas alcohol as Medicine throughout the novel Sun- Represents the Guide also known as Gaddafi Sunglasses- Is what Baba is wearing to protect his eyes from the sun (Gaddafi) Red Handkerchief- Red (Democracy) is known to be the color opposite to the color Green (Revolution) Bridge to Paradise- Light at the end of the tunnel, bridge to heaven.

THEMES y y y y y y y y y Male Dominance Loyalty & Betrayal Innocence Suppression of Women Living under the Sword Imprisonment Exile Absence Abuse: emotional, moral, verbal, physical, substance

CHARACTERS Ustath Rashid- neighbour, father of Kareem, assassinated as a rebel. Kareem- neighbour and friend of Suleiman. Auntie Salma- Rashids wife and mother of Kareem. Bu Nasser- Nassers father. Nasser- young rebel and friend of Suleimans father. Siham- younger sister of Nasser, who flirts with Suleiman and later marries Kareem. Auntie Nora- Suleimans mothers sister. Khaled- Suleimans mothers brother, poet who marries Cathy, a white woman from the United States; he also betrays Suleimans mother and tells her parents about her being at the Italian Coffe House with another boy, which ruins Mamas life because she is then forcefully married off to Baba. Suleiman- the nine year old narrator

Baba (Faraj el Dewani)- Suleimans father who is rebelling against the new power that is being put into Libyas government Najwa (Mama)- Suleimans mother, wife to Baba. Has a drinking problem throughout the novel. Moosa- Babas best friend Sharief- A member of the Revolutionary Committee looking for Baba Bahloul- A beggar that was almost killed by Suleiman CROSSWORD ANSWERS STRAY DOGS is a term used to define those who refused to go to the military Suleiman DESTROYS all personal relationships, becomes more evident when he tries drowning Bahloul Baba was ARRESTED on May 1994 JUDGE RASEEN was the Guardian of Suleiman, he treated him as his own son Baba resembles the character SCHEHERAZADE in Arabian Nights Baba dies TWO DEATHS NASSER was the next to be taken by the Revolutionary Committee Both Mama and Suleiman are CAPTIVES Suleiman feels DISTANCED from both his parents as their relationship becomes stronger Continues to feel that his father is a STRANGER, even when hes physically home USTATH JAFFER is a government official and a neighbour Mama offers MONEY to Bu Nasser (father of Nasser) Suleiman starts to LONG for old friends Suleiman BETRAYS both Kareem and Nasser Suleiman loses the ability to have a HAPPY ENDING Suleimans profession is in MEDICINE (can relate to his description of Mamas alcohol) During Rashids death, the NATIONAL ANTHEM plays in the background Suleiman wants to save Mama from the PAST AND PRESENT Suleiman is sent to CAIRO to visit Moosa Mama continues to tell Suleiman LIES, even as he grows older KAREEM leaves town after the death of his father NATIONALISM is as thin as a thread, perhaps thats why many feel it must be anxiously guarded (231) DEATH BY HANGING is the method used to kill Ustath Rashid In the end all that remains are NUMBERS, the measurement of distances, the quantity of things (246) Sharief is known as a TRAITOR within Suleimans eyes MAMA is the sole person Suleiman is happy to be with Suleiman notices that the MIRRORS are hidden once Baba is back home, but cannot yet see Suleiman Mama feels REGRET for sending Suleiman away SIHAM is the daughter of Bu Nasser