Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Reflections

[Behind the Beautiful Forevers]

We're now fifteen chapters in to Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers. What do you think about what we've read since chapter 8? What have you found most fascinating, surprising, or thought-provoking on any of those chapters (8 - 15)? Why or how so?

21 comments:

Mercedes H said...

What I found most fascinating throughout chapters 8 to 15 was the incident in which Abdul became indulged with the idea of The Master. It was kind of intriguing at first when he made up stories and events in admiration of The Master but then it went to the extent that he even started to believe the stories himself. He was so far off into what he thought that he would even start to look for The Master on his visits so he could have a conversation with him. It was kind of crazy what Abdul was doing but it was also fascinating because it kept his mind off of more scary things that were happening to him. This was his way to escape his reality in hopes of having a brighter, better future like The Master lectured about and that is the hope that got him through.

Jacqueline C. said...

Most of the chapters have been interesting and each had a different story that captured my attention. The chapter that caught me the most was chapter 15. It is when the death of Fatima's daughter occurs. This is because it seemed almost like her own mother didn't care that she was drowning. For me a mother's love is everything, so for her to be unbothered by the death of her daughter really disturbed me. The context of this chapter provoked my though process.

Jacquelene G said...

Since chapter 8, a lot has gone on. However, in my opinion the chapter that stood out the most was chapter 13. It was very surprising, because in the chapter it tells how the Annawandian already poor economic state took a turn for the worse. The Annawandian people were struggling even more than they were before due to an attack that had taken place nearby their tourist area. The explosion, in itself caused an explosion of their economy, because as a result tourists were afraid to step foot in the nearby airport let alone the hotel. The hotels along with scavenging were a major source of their income. Times got so hard for them that they began eating rats. This is still very shocking to me and I think it’s why that chapter sticks so vividly in my mind.

Jacquelene G.

Brianna B said...

I think what I have found most interesting would have to be how deeply embedded corruption is in so many aspects of daily life for the book's characters lives from schooling to jobs to their judicial system and these characters don't fight it, but merely accept it. It's this continuing theme that remains the most interesting concept of the book to me.

C. S. said...

Overall, the book has been very educational in outside cultures, especially the deep similarities that occur despite our difference in social, financial, and religious statutes.

Abdul’s story has been fascinating. He appears to have even confused himself in the events that have occurred ranging from scavenging for trash, deaths within the city, and the attack. The people of Annawandia, including Abdul’s family, struggle desperately to survive. Following their story is heart wrenching.

Chante S.

Kayleigh E. said...

Reading this book has been very eye opening. I feel as if most of our society is in our own little bubble, and we do not think about the less fortunate countries. There are people that actually live like this. The part that really sticks with me is the police and law enforcement in these chapters. I cannot imagine what it would be like to not have any faith in the people who are supposed to keep you safe. There is no justice for anyone in this book.

Conradette King said...

I think that the book is very eye-opening. I did not know much about the slums of India before reading this book and I feel that Boo has helped the readers of the book truly get a look at the harsh realities of being poor in a third world country. But what has really interested me was the use of corruption and how it has become normal for their society.

Andrea R. said...

What really sticks with me as I read this story is how ingrained the corruption is within this society. It really puts the scale of corruption into perspective as we consider politicians within our own society to be very corrupt yet by the standards of the Annawadi people, we don't know what true corruption is. It also keeps me thinking about how the corruption of the state will affect them as the story progresses.

Alex J said...

From chapter 1, this book has revealed how different cultures can be from each other. For me, chapters 8-15 really demonstrated how each culture has their own problems and different ways of dealing with them. From the economy, societal expectations, religious, and various examples of corruption, it is very eye-opening to see what daily life is really like in outside cultures.

Ashya Ford said...

Overall, I would have to say this entire book is very intriguing. It offers a lot of different angles on the same environment as various events take place. The thing I enjoy the most is learning and experiencing the different attitudes within the culture. It seems like the slums is a dark cloud and every event that takes place there continues to oppress someone further and they begin to lose hope and/or faith. It's just a crippling environment.
Ashya F.

Sandra N said...

This book is so interesting. It's amazing to see how my life and values differ from the citizens of Annawadi and the surrounding cities and slums. The way corruption is an accepted part of everyday life is fascinating. Everyone just accepts that they will have to buy their way out of trouble or into a position of a little power. No one tries to fight the system because the system has already beaten them down. The relationship between the Hussains and Fatima's family is very interesting. They helped each other when it was convenient and attacked each other when they wanted. The fact that Fatima's husband still tried to extort money from the Hussains even after everything they had been put through is crazy. Fatima made the decision to set herself on fire and it backfired on her. There is no reason the Hussains should have been punished.

Kiana S. said...

This book has provided countless thought-provoking chapters with the corruption and just society differences. Just like we are so unaware of other cultures and societies, the Annawadians are unaware of the corruption that goes on in their daily lives. It baffles me the differences in the Indian slums of this book that no one stops and realizes. Boo does a great job to paint a picture and let people in on a culture other than our own.

Anonymous said...

To me, the most fascinating thing is how Annawandians are able to keep persevering despite the obstacles they face. Even when faced when going to jail, falsely accused of burning and killing the woman, they kept pushing forward. Another thing is how the Annawandians were affected by America's failing economy. It was never really addressed how this had impact on others and that is interesting to me because it influenced the lives of people on the other side of the planet.

Marta A.

Anitra B. said...

This book is really interesting to me, and there are a lot of things that have intrigued me. I like how Boo tells the stories through the different angles/point of views. One thing that has really interested me throughout the whole book is the corruption that goes on in the town. Mainly because it seems like everyone participates in it because it seem like it’s necessary to survive in this town. In chapter 13 Cynthia was dead set on lying in her testimony to get the family thrown in jail. It just showed me how far people are willing to go in order to get the things that they want, even at the expense of hurting someone innocent.

Anitra B.

Jessica Oranika said...

The thing that I found most thought provoking was the amount of corruption in their community. It was as if they literally had to participate in the corruption to survive. This point was really hit home when Abdul's doctor wanted a bribe so that he would say he wasn't an adult. Although the doctor was not a bad guy he felt as if he needed to collect bribes just to feed his family.

Ashley Bass said...

I have read many fascinating, surprising, and thought-provoking things from chapters 8-15. Something I found thought provoking was how Abdul's father "privately believed that the only Indians who went on trial were those too poor to pay off the police, but he had raised his children to respect the Indian courts." This statement caught my attention, because it shows how high the power distance is. It's crazy how even though he believes something, he has to teach his children opposite so they can fit in and conform to society. He has to teach his children to respect and believe in the courts, even though he doesn't believe in them himself.

Jenee B. said...

I mainly was surprised at how hard the people in Annawadi had to fight just to have food to eat after the recession started. Also I was shocked by how careless and corrupt the police were when dealing with the recent deaths.

Natalie Thompson said...

This book is really interesting and being able to see the different lives of all the different characters in the books is what really makes this a fascinating book. Seeing the lives from the kids point of view and the adults point of view gives me a vivid idea of how life really is for then Annawadi. The chapter I found most interesting was Chapter 12 Nine Nights of Dance2 When Meena killed herself due to the circumstances that she was dealing with in her life. She felt that death was her way out. Her and Manju were good friends but they were also total opposites. These stories draw you in and keep you wanting for more.

Candace P said...

I have found Karam’s strong belief in the justice system, despite the corruption and abuse of power, to be extremely fascinating. It is interesting to read how he continues to believe that the verdict of innocent will be made, despite all of the controversy and lies that have been made about the death of Fatima. Reading this novel simply emphasizes that one should continue to uphold their beliefs, even in times of turmoil.

Kiara Gay said...

I think what i have found most interesting is the fact that no one has made it out of the slums of Annawabi, and everyone is still behind the beautiful forevers even after 15 chapters. With all of the corrupt actions, and systems in this town things have yet to improve. It is a theme that seems to go on forever and nothing is beautiful has been attained.

Belainesh Nigeda said...

I think the most interesting thing about this book is the goals of the characters in this book. Some people just want to be garbage collectors, whereas, some characters want to graduate college or do something different than the traditional Annawadians.

I do think that the book got much more interesting after Fatima died. I enjoyed reading the case (seeing the different sides of the story and how people feel about Fatima).

-B.Nigeda