Susan Abulhawa’s novel, Mornings in Jenin

English 1C

Essay: Mornings in Jenin

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Please write a 5+ page essay on Susan Abulhawa’s novel, Mornings in Jenin. What does it mean to be a Palestinian? How does Abulhawa uncover, provoke, refute or affirm our stereotypes of Palestinians?

In order to answer this, think about the thought Amal had upon first meeting David, “You and I are the remains of an unfulfilled legacy, heirs to a kingdom of stolen identities and ragged confusion. In the complicity of siblinghood, of aloneness and unrootedness, Amal loved David instinctively” (270). What does this mean? Who is a Palestinian?

To better understand these questions, please track one or two (interrelated) themes through the novel:

Dispossession of land
Dispossession of self
Exile (immigration/displacement/westernization/Americanization)
The persistence of culture and tradition even through exile and displacement
Family (immediate and connected)
Normalcy/Being Present in the Moment
Justice and injustice
Physical and psychological effects of war
Dehumanization vs. humanization
Religion/cultural traditions/food
The individual versus the universal
Coming of age, stages of life
Literature (poetry, letters, media, news articles, novels, books, learning)
In writing this essay, please track the theme through the beginning (first 1/3), middle (2nd third) and end (last third) of the novel (you must write about all parts of the novel. If you only focus on parts in the beginning, I’ll know you only read the beginning!). Pay specific attention to specific symbols that reappear, specific narrative strategies (switching of narrative voice from third to first to third person), integration of source material, etc, to back up your claims.

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