Saturday, August 28, 2010

American Brat - Objective-Type Questions with Answers

1.      Question: Write a short note on Bapsi’s biography.

Answer: Bapsi Sidhwa has been called Pakistan's leading English-language novelist. Born in Karachi in 1938, she moved to the United States in 1983. Her first three novels -- The Crow Eaters , The Bride and Ice-Candy-Man -- take place in her homeland, exploring the post-colonial Pakistani identity. Anita Desai has said that Sidhwa has "a passion for history and for truth telling" -- and this passion is exhibited in each of her first three novels, as she tries to understand the dramatic events leading to the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 and the subsequent birth of Pakistan as a nation.
Her "richly comic" fourth novel, An American Brat , looks at the immigrant experience in the United States as she chronicles a young Parsi girl's exposure to American culture in the late 1970s. Sidhwa's short stories and articles have been published in numerous anthologies.

2.      Question: What are the major themes of Post-modernism?

Answer: Post-modernism is a very complex phenomenon. The major themes of this dimension include disintegration, deconstruction, cultural studies, multiculturalism and feminism and many others like these.

3.      Question: What is post-colonial literature?

Answer: Postcolonial literature, sometimes called "New English Literature" is literature concerned with the political and cultural independence of people formerly subjugated in colonial empires, and the literary expression of postcolonialism.

4.      Question: Write a short note on the fictional technique of Bapsi Sidhwa.

Answer: Bapsi Sidhwa's fiction deals with both the pre and post-colonial period of the subcontinent. Her fiction not only brings to life the horror of the Partition but also vividly portrays the complexities of life in the subcontinent after Independence. What makes her work interesting from the post-colonial point of view is the way in which she re-writes the history of the subcontinent. In Ice-Candy-Man, Lenny, the young narrator, in the process of narrating the story of her family re-writes the history of the subcontinent, thereby undercutting the British view of history imposed on the subcontinent. In American Brat, Feroza is shown in the process of transformation as a result of cross-cultural ties.
5.      Question: What does Bapsi Sidhwa present about gender and community?

Answer: Sidhwa skillfully links gender to community, nationality, religion, and class, demonstrating the ways in which these various aspects of cultural identity and social structure do not merely affect or reflect one another, but instead are inextricably intertwined. Since moving to the United States and becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen, Sidhwa has written An American Brat (1993), which describes the Americanization of a young Parsi woman.
6.      Question: What are the major themes in American Brat?

Answer: An American Brat, written after Sidhwa immigrated to America, follows a sixteen-year-old Parsi girl named Feroza Ginwalla. Alarmed by the rising fundamentalism of Pakistan in the 1970s, Feroza's mother, Zareen, decides to send Feroza to the United States to stay with her uncle. After an initial culture shock, however, Feroza decides to remain in America as a college student, where she falls in love with a young Jewish man. Feroza also becomes increasingly politicized about such issues as gender, imperialism, and global relations. Zareen, alarmed by Feroza's newly Americanized attitudes, travels to the United States to retrieve her daughter, who Zareen believes has become an “American brat.”
7.      Question: What is her understanding of Pakistan as depicted in the novel, ‘An American Brat’?

Answer: To understand Pakistan, Bapsi Sidhwa appears to suggest, it is necessary to understand the events which led to its emergence as a new nation in 1947. With this always in mind, her wonderfully irreverent first novel begins a lifetime earlier—towards the end of the nineteenth century. It is an unusual passage to India which transports the reader to the heart of the Parsi community, and, as the story progresses, prepares him or her for the end of a significant chapter of history—the birth of Pakistan.
8.      Question: Discuss the major features of Bapsi Sidhwa as a writer of novel.
Answer: Bapsi Sidhwa has emerged as a leading woman novelist writing in English from Pakistan. In her novels, she shows her concern about her Pakistani roots, culture and the treatment of recent history i.e., Partition. Being a Parsi, she also introduces her Parsi community in her novels. She has a distinctive Parsi ethos in her novels alongwith her individual voice. She possesses a sense of individualism and humour which makes her writings lively. She also possesses the art of storytelling.  Bapsi Sidhwa has emerged as a trendsetter in English novel in the Indian sub-continent. She provides insights into the antiquity of the Parsi faith with their tolerance of other beliefs and their cultural values. She lets her readers to know about the Parsi community with their rites, customs, traditions, beliefs and mannerism. One psychological factor behind the restrictions in Parsi community is the small population and its closed society.
9.      Question: Discuss Bapsi Sidhwa as a realist.
Answer: Bapsi Sidhwa is a realist to the core. She does not romanticize situations and characters in her narratives. Her novels also provide an interesting and realistic socio-cultural background of her community. She introduces her Parsi character without any distortion or exaggeration. They are true to their colours. Her portrayal of Parsi Characters in her novels is in fact a part of her quest for the continuation of her Parsi identity.

10.  Question: Write a short note on the character of Feroza.
Answer: Feroza is the heroine of the novel. She is the female protagonist of the novel. The title of the novel is also related to her character. She is called, “An American Brat” in the closing chapters. The whole story revolves around this single character. All other characters whether they are the major or minor incidents are related to her character.

11.  Question: Write a short note on the character of Feroza.
Answer: Feroza is the heroine of the novel. She is the female protagonist of the novel. The title of the novel is also related to her character. She is called, “An American Brat” in the closing chapters. The whole story revolves around this single character. All other characters whether they are the major or minor incidents are related to her character.

12.  Question: Discuss Feroza as a round character.
Answer: Feroza is a round as well as dynamic character. We can conclude it in such a way that it is not the fault of Feroza but the fault of her family who gave her so much independence. She was innocent and did not agree to go to America, but she was sent by her family. Just a sixteen years old girl and such a corrupt and destructive world of America proved horrible. So, the result had to be necessarily as that of Feroza.

13.  Question: Write a very short note on Manek.
Answer: Manek Ginwala is an important character of the novel. He is brother of Zareen Ginwala and uncle of Feroza. He has been in America for the last three years. He is doing chemical engineering there. Manek is a Youngman of about 23 and possesses attractive looks. He can be called a transformed American Sadu because in the last three years, he acquires all the qualities of an American young man. Now he is self-contented, confident, rational, calculated, professional and educated. He has the ability to take decisions instantly and deal with different people differently.

14.  Question: What is your understanding of Manek’s character?
Answer: Then his handling or treatment of Feroza and David’s problem was also very nice. Although it was a matter of life and death for Zareen yet Manek remained composed and helped Zareen. So, all these things clearly show that Manek is a transformed pseudo-American.

15.  Question: What major cultural differences has Bapsi Sidhwa dealt with in An American Brat?

Answer: In ‘An American Brat’, Bapsi Sidhwa seems to be more interested in exploring the horizons of contrast and comparison of Pakistani and American civilizations. For the sake of comparison, Sidhwa has used basically two characters e.g. Protagonist – Feroza and her uncle Manek. This theme is also highlighted in the short stay of Zareen in ‘New World’. Both these cultures are different from each other in terms of their religion, geography, nature, rituals, language, temperament, freedom, government, development and the like.

16.  Question: What is Bapsi’s attitude towards Pakistanism?

Answer: The way Sidhwa defends Pakistan, Muslims and Islam, by urging the world to study the causes that lead people to terrorism out of sheer desperation and not by choice or because it is ordained by religion, is the most human and objective argument advanced to address the issue. “And the Americans — the public, students and academics — that I have spoken to on the subject have been extremely forthcoming and understanding,” she says glowing with hope. “There has got to be an end to the madness of hate and revenge seeking — sentiments that politicians everywhere stoke to gain political mileage, and America is no exception.”
17.  Question: What is Bapsi’s attitude towards Americanism?

Answer: America, to Feroza and her Uncle Manek, is in many ways a paradise—as indeed it appears to be for Sidhwa, a Parsee who has lived in the United States for many years—but An American Brat is nonetheless a measured portrait, often reassuring and discomfiting at the same time. It's both wonderful and startling, for example, to hear the fully Americanized Manek say to the newly arrived Feroza, as she grapples with some well-wrapped container, “Remember this: If you have to struggle to open something in America, you're doing it wrong. They've made everything easy. That's how a free economy works.”

18.  Question: Write a note on the stylistic features of American Brat?

Answer: In style, An American Brat is nothing like Henry James' The Ambassadors, being straightforward, humorous, easygoing and unpoetic. In plot, though, it bears some similarities, with travelers finding themselves unexpectedly transformed by their encounters in a new land. Feroza soon realizes that Manek's years in the United States have changed him: He is now “humbler and, paradoxically, more assured and quietly conceited, more considerate, yet … tougher, even ruthless.” One of the first things Zareen notices about Feroza at the Denver airport is her gaudy tan: “You'd better bleach your face or something,” she tells her daughter, “before you come home.” But even Zareen proves vulnerable to America's charms:

19.  Question: Write a note on Sidhwa’s main contribution to novel in Pakistan?

Answer: Bapsi Sidhwa invented English-language fiction in Pakistan. Unlike India, from which Pakistan was carved, the country had no established literary tradition in English. Urdu was the official language, and many would have preferred that the former colonizers’ language disappear altogether.

20.  Question: What is the major issue that Bapsi Sidhwa highlights in An American Brat?

Answer: In An American Brat Sidhwa highlights the predicament of the Paki­stani people in general and of the Parsi community in particular. Thus, while in Ice-Candy-Man Sidhwa grapples with the realities of the pre-Independence period, in An American Brat she highlights the phenomenon of neo-colonialism in Pakistan. What is most remarkable about her work is her dual perspective, which is based on both the Pakistani and the Parsi point of view. She speaks both for the Pakistanis and the marginalized Parsi com­munity.

21.  Question: What does Bapsi Sidhwa tell us about her biography?

Answer: I graduated from Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore-and at nineteen I got married in Bombay. That brought a wonderful change to my life. I was brought up in a very strict home. We Parsis adopt the flavor of whichever country we are in, we have to, and the atmosphere in my house was segregated. When my brother's friends came, I was told, "You better disappear,"---that sort of thing. So, I had no idea who I was or what I was. Then, when I got married and went to Bombay, it was traumatic-I was plucked out of childhood and thrust into big-city life and straight into adulthood. At the same time, the move opened up the world to me, and I was, for the first time, surrounded by my own community of Parsis, which was an enchanting thing. 

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