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Themes and Literary Strategies


• Coming of age

• Searching for identity and belonging

• Political struggle

• Religious freedom

• Role of women

• Choices of people in Iran

• Differences in cultures and societies

Literary Strategies Used to Convey Themes

1. Formal Aspects of the Book

• First-person narrator

• Use of English and Persian

2. Narrator

• How does having a first-person narration shape the story?

• Why do you think the author chose to write from Roya’s point-of-view and not Shireen?

• Would the story have worked with both Roya and Shireen’s narrating the novel? Why or why not?

3. Structure of Book

• What is the significance of the book being divided into three parts that correspond with Mr. Elmi’s metaphor?

4. Introduction of secondary characters

• Is Shareen a main character or secondary?

• Who are the secondary characters?

• What roles to the following characters play: Mr. Elmi, Shireen’s parents, Pedar Afshar (Roya’s father)?

5. Language and Culture

• Why does the author write the book in English and not Persian?

• What literary elements of Persian culture does the author weave into the story?

• How does metaphor play a critical role in the story?

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