slumdog millionaire english novel

Slumdog Millionaire- Questions on the text

Questions on the text

1. Why does Vikas Swarup choose the name “Ram Mohammad Thomas” for his protagonist? The names represent three different religions—besides displaying India’s diversity, what does this say about Ram Mohammad Thomas as a person?

2. When Ram recounts the story of Father Timothy, he repeatedly refers to himself as an “idiot orphan boy”. Considering how well Father Timothy treats him, why does he describe himself in this manner?

3. Ram has a recurring dream of a tall woman with black hair that obscures her face. At what moments does he have this dream, and why? What does this woman represent? Is she his biological mother? A symbol of hope? Abandonment?

4. In telling Gudiya’s story, Ram asks “But what was Gudiya’s crime? Simply that she was born a girl and Shantaram was her father?”. Are there other women in this novel who are treated poorly simply because of their sex? Do any female characters not need Ram’s protection? How would you describe his relationships with women?

5. Several characters, especially Ram and Salim, are big movie fans. Is there a reason for this? Do films help them escape their frequently dreary lives, is it simply a significant part of their culture, or is there another reason?

6. What are Ram’s ambitions in life? Why does he tell Prem Kumar he doesn’t know how he’s going to spend the billion rupees? Why does Ram turn in Colonel Taylor? Is this retribution for the colonel’s spying, his derogatory comments about Indians, or for the way he treats his family? Or does Ram simply want to collect his wages before returning to Mumbai?

7. “The city may have chosen to ignore the ugly growth of Dharavi, but a cancer cannot be stopped simply by being declared illegal” (pg. 134). Are there any other problems that go unacknowledged because they’re too painful to face? If so, what impact does this have on the characters?

8. What do you think of Salim’s decision to give Ahmed, the hit man, a picture of Maman? Did Salim have another choice? Is he guilty of murder? Did Ram have other options besides throwing Shantaram down the stairs? Are these violent acts justifiable considering the behavior of the victims?

9. Consider the impact of Western culture on Ram. He dreams of eating at places like McDonald’s and Pizza Hut, and he practices “speaking Australian.” Why is this important to him?

10. Why does Ram want to have “manageable dreams” (pg. 279)? What does he mean by this? And does this conflict with him appearing on a game show to win one billion rupees?

11. Considering he believes he’s already murdered two people, why is Ram unable to kill Prem Kumar?

12. How do you think Ram changes, if at all, during his eighteen years? Is he a stronger person at the end of Q&A than he was as a boy? Which journey had the greatest impact on him, either for better or worse?

13. “I realized a long time ago that dreams have power only over your own mind; but with money you can have power over the minds of others”. In relation to this novel, would you agree with this statement? Are there characters without money that are able to influence others?

14. Despite his lack of formal education, Ram is able to answer twelve questions correctly in order to win a billion rupees. Was this pure luck, or do you think he’ll always be able to find the answers to life’s many questions? What do you envision the future holds for Ram?

 

source: litlovers.com

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Half Broke Horses- Jeannette Walls- Questions

Questions on the text

1. Jeannette Walls has said that she tried writing this book in the third person but that it didn’t work for her. Do you think you are closer to Lily because you get her story in her own voice? Did you “see” Lily Casey Smith as real? What is your response to the first person voice of the book?

2. When Lily’s father dies, she and Rosemary drive his body from Tucson back to the ranch in West Texas. Rosemary is embarrassed to be seen driving with a corpse and ducks down in the car when they stop at a red light (pg. 198). “Life’s too short, honey,” Lily tells Rosemary, “to worry what other people think of you.” What does Lily’s reaction to this behavior show about her character? Does she give much credence to what other people think of her? What effect do you think her mother’s attitude had on Rosemary?

3. Following Helen’s suicide, Lily says, “When people kill themselves, they think they’re ending the pain, but all they’re doing is passing it on to those they leave behind” (pg. 113). Do you agree with this statement?

4. Lily seems willing to sacrifice everything to defend her principles and the rights of others. On more than one occasion, she is fired from a teaching position for refusing to back down from what she believes in. Do you applaud Lily’s moral conviction in these instances? Or did you hope that Lily would learn to compromise?

5. Lily has high expectations for her children, from sending them off to boarding school despite their protests to enforcing strict rules for keeping animals as pets. When Rosemary falls in love with a wild horse and asks her mother if she can keep it, Lily replies, “The last thing we need around here is another half-broke horse” (pg. 190). How might this statement apply to Lily’s children as well? Are Lily’s expectations of her children particularly high or rather a reflection of the times? Why do you think this phrase was chosen as the title of the book?

6. When a group of Brooklyn ladies visits the ranch, Rosemary and Lily take them for a car ride they’ll never forget. Lily concludes their encounter by saying, “You ride, you got to know how to fall, and you drive, you got to know how to crash” (pg. 175). How does this statement apply to Lily’s life as a whole? What does she mean by knowing “how to fall”?

7. Discuss Lily’s husband Jim. How does his personality complement her strong nature?

8. While attempting to prevent the ranch from flooding, Lily tells Rosemary, “Do the best you can…That’s all anyone can do.” Her instructions are echoed by Jim’s declaration: “We did a good job—good as we could” (pg. 152). Why do you think Lily and Jim have both adopted this philosophy? To which other instances in their lives are they likely to have applied this rationale?

9. Lily comes off as tough and resilient, but there are moments in this book of vast heartbreak, where you see her façade crack. How does the author handle the death of Lily’s friend in Chicago? Her first husband’s duplicity? Her sister’s suicide? Her suspicions of her husband Jim?

10. Walls calls Half Broke Horses a “true life novel.” In her author’s note, she explains why. Do you agree with this label? What do you think of the “true life” genre?

11. “Helen’s beauty, as far as I was concerned, had been a curse, and I resolved that I would never tell Rosemary she was beautiful” (pg. 119). Examine Lily’s relationship with her daughter, Rosemary, and, in The Glass Castle, Rosemary’s relationship with Jeannette. How does each generation try to compensate for the one before? How does each mother try to avoid the mistakes or pain imposed upon her by her own mother?

 

 

Englisch: George Orwell: Animal Farm

Zusammenfassung/ Plot in Englisch:

Animal farm by George Orwell is a novel about a group of animals taking control of the farm they live on.

The animals get fed up of their master, Farmer Jones, so they kick him out of his farm. Once they are free, life on the farm improves for a while and hope grows for a happier future of less work, better education and more food. However, trouble brews as the pigs, Napoleon and Snowball, fight for the hearts and minds of the other animals on the farm. Napoleon takes possession of power by force and ends up exploiting the animals just as Farmer Jones had done it before. In the end the pigs behave and even dress like the humans the animals tried to get rid of.