Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Chapter 5

In chapter 5 “Ghost House” of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Katherine Boo discusses the lives of some of the women in Annadawi. She discusses the upbringing, struggles, and family lives of Fatima, Zehrunisa, and Kehkashan.

Boo writes about Zehrunisa’s commitment to family “It’s easy to break a single bamboo stick, but when you bundle the sticks, you can’t even bend them” (147).

Which character drew your attention most, Fatima, Zehrunisa, or Kehkashan? Why?

12 comments:

Sandra N said...

All the women have interesting stories. Of the three, Kehkashan's story caught my attention. With arranged marriages, it is lucky if your parents pick someone you already love and want to spend your life with. It is sad that Kehkashan's husband showed no interest in her. I cannot imagine having to come home a year after the wedding because the husband is so distant and makes no move to start a family. I wonder why he agreed to this marriage if he had no intention of treating her as a wife he could grow to love in the future. With all that she still kept a good attitude and helped the family around the house.

Brenda W said...

I agree that all of the women were very interesting, but I would have to say Fatima caught my attention the most. I think she is a perfect example of the age old adage "Don't judge a book by its cover". On the surface, people may just view her as a bitter crippled woman. But upon further examination, people would see why she is the way she is. She has been hurt, and ostracized her whole life. Her anger is her way of coping. And honestly, I admire her strength. It must have been horrible growing up and being treated as if she were inadequate. She could not control her circumstances and having one leg does not make her any less human than anyone else. Overall, this is why I find her to be so interesting and why her story caught my attention the most.

Jacqueline C. said...

Zehrunisa really drew my attention. She dealt with her husband being in the hospital and daughter running away from her cousin who was actually a cousin. The part that got to me was that she paid for the funeral of Fatima's daughter while Fatima showed little to no grief.All the stories were captivating but the way she handled that situation was inspiring.She acted as though Fatima's daughter was her own.Readers could tell she was loving.

Anonymous said...

To me, Zehrunisa's caught my attention the most with her unending patients. She seemed to care not only about herself but her neighbors as well, especially the children. It struck me how she payed for Medina, despite hardly have money herself. I really admired the way she was able to put her religious beliefs before her personal beliefs and help her fellow Muslims.

Marta A.

C. S. said...

Zehrunisa is a key character that continues to develop and shape into something I didn't anticipate. Before I thought of her as an antagonist who lacks the ability to care for her family due to her selfishness.
However, through long-suffering and a will to keep a family together (doing whatever it takes) she stands tall.
Through her hard shell, she cares deeply for those around her.

Chante S.

Ashya Ford said...

Fatima's character grabbed my attention the most. In this chapter you get a snippet of her life struggles and the things she has overcome. I think she is a strong person because no matter how wrong she was treated as a child, she still tries to be herself as much as possible. It is also amazing that even after being treated the way she is, she still tries to be happy in some way and she hasn't given up on life.

Jenee' B. said...

Both Fatima and Zehrunisa caught my attention. Fatima caught my attention because I felt bad for what she went through with her disability, and her actions made me wonder what was really going through her mind. I was especially interested in what happened with her youngest daughter. Also, when the author shortly talks about the burden of girls on the families and how they often got rid of them, it reminded me of a documentary I watched called "It's a Girl" that talks about that exact thing. Zehrunisa interested me because of how loyal and devoted she was to her husband and family. However, the dynamics between her and her husband made me wonder how much longer she could stand by him.

Candace P said...

Zehrunisa is the character that drew my attention the most. This particular character demonstrates compassion and unselfishness. Zehrunisa has managed to be the "rock" of her family despite the many hardships that they are facing. More specifically, Zehrunisa is supporting her daughter, Kehkashan, who ran away from her husband; her husband who is suffering from tuberculosis; her son Mirchi who failed ninth grade; and her son Abdul who is simply unhappy.

Furthermore, Zehrunisa shows compassion for those who are not apart of her family. This was clearly demonstrated when she paid for Fatima's daughter, Medina, funeral.

Jacquelene G said...

Kehkashan's character drew me in the most. Her story was interesting because even though she was admired by many, she still did not have the attention of the one she wanted. Her own husband ignored and neglected her needs. Where she was admired by her physical appearance she was longing for more than admiration, she wanted love.


Jac`quelene G.

Kayleigh E. said...

I thought Zehrunisa was the most interesting one. What made her so interesting to me, was the fact that her husband came to her for advice/to consult her on financial decisions. Many women in her position would never get that kind of respect from their husband. And on top of that, she was right every time he went to her.

Kiara Gay said...

The woman who interested me most was Fatima. It was interesting to know that she had no leg throughout her whole life and therefore was given the negative attention in the family, and the way she coped with her poor childhood was by sleeping around and having a careless and selfish attitude. She sleeps around with a lot of men to make herself feel better, but in reality the sleeping around is probably just adding to the lack of self worth. When a woman feels as though she has less than others to offer to the table, especially when dealing with a disturbed body image then I believe the way to help yourself is to be a better, loving individual to show that it is not just outer beauty that makes a person special.

Jessica LW said...

Of all the women Fatima interested me the most. I thought it was interesting how she coped with her challenges. I thought it was sad the way she was treated by her family. I could not imagine being told by my parents that “I had been born wrong”. I empathize for Fatima because she has been through a lot. Her self esteem is low which is why she chooses to be promiscuous. I admire Fatima and I could not imagine growing up with one leg and dealing with all the insults and degrading comments from the people in my community. Fatima was the most interesting to me of all the women.