Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Passage Analysis

Remember to complete a four-step passage analysis for two more passages from the pink sheet.

Here are the directions in case you misplaced your sheet.

1. Explain the literal meaning of the passage.
2. Underline most important words or phrases and explain why you selected them.
3. Identify and explain the effects of connotations and metaphors.
4. Write 1-2 sentences of explanation regarding the importance of the passage to theme. Why is this passage important to the overall meaning of the novel?

Here are the other passages to choose from:

2. “For being a foreigner, Ashima is beginning to realize, is a sort of lifelong pregnancy a perpetual wait, a constant burden, a continuous feeling out of sorts. It is an ongoing responsibility, a parenthesis in what had once been ordinary life, only to discover that that previous life has vanished, replaced by something more complicated and demanding. Like pregnancy, being a foreigner, Ashima believes, is something that elicits the same curiosity from strangers, the same combination of pity and respect.” (Lahiri 50-1).

3. “Together as the Gangulis drive they anticipate the moment the thin blue line of the ocean will come into view…Gogol darts in and out of the ocean, making faint, temporary footprints, soaking his rolled-up cuffs. His mother cries out laughing, as she lifts her sari a few inches above her ankles, her slippers in one hand, and places her feet in foaming, ice-cold water. She reaches out to Gogol, takes his hand. ‘Not so far,’ she tells him. The waves retract gathering force, the soft, dark sand seeming to shift away instantly beneath their feet, causing them to lose their balance. ‘I’m falling. It’s pulling me in,” she always says” (Lahiri 53).

4. “But after eighteen years of Gogol, two months of Nikhil feel scant, inconsequential. At times he feels as if he’s cast himself in a play, acting the part of twins, indistinguishable to the naked eye yet fundamentally different. At times he still feels his old name, painfully and without warning, the way his front tooth had unbearably throbbed in recent weeks after a filling, threatening for an instant to sever from his gums…” (Lahiri 107).

5. “Within twenty-four hours he and his family are back on Pemberton road…Once again they are free to quarrel, to tease each other, to shout and holler and say shut up. They take hot showers, speak to each other in English …They call up their American friends, who are happy to see them but ask them nothing about where they’ve been. And so the eight months are put behind them, quickly she, quickly forgotten, like clothes worn for a special occasion, or for a season that has passed, suddenly cumbersome, irrelevant to their lives” (Lahiri 88).

6. “He is woken by the sound of the phone ringing persistently in the main house. He gets out of bed, convinced that it’s his parents calling to wish him a happy birthday…He stumbles onto the lawn, but when his bare feet strike the cold grass there is silence, and he realizes the ringing he’d heard had been a dream…A bird begins to call. And then he remembers that his parents can’t possibly reach him; he has not given them the number, and the Ratliffs are unlisted. That here at Maxine’s side, in this cloistered wilderness, he is free” (Lahiri 158).

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