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Read and Write
Read and Write
Read and Write
Read and Write
Read and Write
Read and Write

Read and Write

Read and Write
Read and Write
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to reproduce

Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to reproduce the material contained herein on the condition that such material be reproduced only for classroom use; be provided to students, teachers, and families without charge; and be used solely in conjunction with the Glencoe Literature program. Any other reproduction, for sale or other use, is expressly prohibited.

Send all inquiries to:

Glencoe/McGraw-Hill 8787 Orion Place Columbus, OH 43240-4027

ISBN: 978-0-07-889194-6 MHID: 0-07-889194-9

Printed in the United States of America.

Contents
Contents

Why Use This Book?

 

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vi

An Astrologer’s Day

R. K. Narayan .

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1

Tuesday Siesta Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

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When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine Jhumpa Lahiri

 

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Catch the Moon

Judith Ortiz Cofer .

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Living Well. Living Good.

 

Maya Angelou

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The Tucson Zoo

Lewis Thomas

 

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Straw into Gold: The Metamorphosis

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of the Everyday

Sandra Cisneros .

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TIME: What I See in Lincoln’s Eyes Barack Obama

 

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Cinderella’s Stepsisters

 

Toni Morrison

 

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109

Ode to My Socks

Pablo Neruda

 

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117

The Print of the Paw To An Aged Bear

N. Scott Momaday .

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125

Contents (continued)

Three Haiku

 

Matsuo Basho

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133

After great pain, a formal feeling comes— Heart, we will forget him! Emily Dickinson

 

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I Am Offering This Poem Jimmy Santiago Baca

 

147

Horses Graze

 

Gwendolyn Brooks

 

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155

miss rosie

Lucille Clifton .

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163

TIME: We Are Family

Chang-Rae Lee

 

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Comparing Literature

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Dream Boogie

 

Motto

Langston Hughes

 

Dizzie Gillespie, Explorer of New Sounds,

 

from Giants of Jazz

Studs Terkel

 

Playing Jazz

Wynton Marsalis.

 

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185

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene 1

 

William Shakespeare

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205

The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, Act IV, Scene 1 .

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235

The Stealing of Thor’s Hammer

 

Brian Branston .

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247

Contents (continued)

Comparing Literature

Where the Girl Rescued Her Brother

Joseph Bruchac and Gayle Ross

John Henry

Zora Neale Hurston

 

A Song of Greatness

 

Chippewa Traditional Song .

 

259

Comparing Literature

 

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What I Have Been Doing Lately

 

Jamaica Kincaid

 

People at Night

 

Denise Levertov

 

The Dream

Anna Akhmatova .

 

273

 

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Functional Documents: Lesson 1 .

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. 287

Functional Documents: Lesson 2 .

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Additional Activities

 

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306

Pronunciation Guide

 

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316

My Notes .

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317

Why Use This Book?
Why Use This Book?

Read for Fun and Read to Learn!

The notes and features of Read and Write will help you read and understand each literature and nonfiction selection. As you use these notes and features, you practice the skills and strategies that good readers use when they read.

Before You Read

Before You Read Connect The Cask of Amontillado Before you read, think about your own
Before You Read
Connect
The Cask of Amontillado
Before you read, think about
your own experiences. Share
your knowledge and opinions.
Connect to the Story
What kind of injury would make someone want to take revenge? If you think revenge
is never an option, explain why.
Circle the number of the response that is closest to your own.
1. If someone does terrible things to you, you should be able to take revenge.
2. Revenge is pointless; it cannot really make up for anything.
Build Background
Build on what you know about
the selection topic.
Build Background
■ At carnival time, people often wear costumes.
■ The story takes place in an Italian palazzo, or mansion.
■ The mansion has catacombs, which are underground burial chambers.
■ Catacombs could be reached by climbing down narrow staircases.
■ The catacombs were lined with hollowed-out nooks where the remains of the
dead were put.
■ A cask of Amontillado is a barrel of Spanish wine.
Now, write a short summary of the facts you just read.
Set Purposes for Reading
Set your purpose for reading,
so you can plan how you’ll
read.
Set Purposes for Reading
In this short story, one man exacts a horrible revenge on another who he feels has
injured him. Ask yourself what could have offended him so deeply that he needed to
take such revenge. Try to find the reasons in the text as you read.
2
Literary Element and Reading Strategy Literary Element Mood Mood is the overall feeling or emotion
Literary Element and
Reading Strategy
Literary Element
Mood
Mood is the overall feeling or emotion that a literary text creates for readers. A writer’s
diction, or choice of words, helps to create mood. Knowing that the story is set in
catacomb and involves revenge, what type of mood would you predict the writer
wants to create? Write your answer on the line below.
a
Learning about literary
elements helps you to learn
about important features of
literature. Reading skills help
you develop good strategies to
understand what you read.
Reading Strategy
Paraphrase
Paraphrasing is putting a text into your own words. Unlike a summary, a paraphrase
does not highlight the main points of the text. It restates a passage to make it clearer.
As you read, make a chart like the one below on a separate sheet of paper to help
paraphrase difficult sentences with unfamiliar vocabulary in your own words. A sample
paraphrase has been done for you.
Author’s Words
Paraphrase
A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its
redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to
make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.
A wrong isn’t righted if the avenger gets
caught. The object of the revenge must
know who is taking revenge and why.
Vocabulary
Vocabulary
Context Clues
Learning new vocabulary
helps prepare you to read.
A
word’s context is the sentence or paragraph in which the word
Vocabulary
appears. Often the context can help a reader understand the
meanings of difficult words. Some common context clues include
the following:
preclude (pri kloodʼ) v. to prevent; to make
impossible
➤ definitions or synonyms
impunity (im pŪʼ nə tē) n. freedom from
punishment, harm, or bad consequences
➤ examples
➤ contrast clues (opposite meanings)
accost (ə kôstʼ) v. to approach and speak to,
especially in an aggressive manner
➤ descriptions
➤ modifying words or phrases
explicit (eks plisʼ it) adj. definitely stated, clearly
expressed
In
the following example, study the underlined part of the passage
implore (im plorʼ) v. to ask earnestly, to beg
from the text. Identify how this context relates to the boldfaced
vocabulary word. Then write what type of context clue it is on the
line below.
“I
must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when
retribution overtakes the redresser.”
The Cask of Amontillado
3

viivii

Read, Respond, Interact

Notes support you as you read. Interact with and respond to the text by answering questions and reading information.

During Reading

The Cask of Amontillado Reading Strategy The thousand injuries of Fortunato 1 I had borne
The Cask of Amontillado
Reading Strategy
The thousand injuries of Fortunato 1 I had borne as I best
could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.
Paraphrase Rephrase this
highlighted sentence in your own
words. To whom might Montresor
be speaking?
You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose,
however, that I gave utterance to a threat.
At length I would be
Read and Discuss boxes give you
a chance to share your thoughts
and opinions with a partner.
avenged; this was a point definitively settled—but the very
definitiveness with which it was resolved, precluded the idea of
risk. I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong
is
unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is
equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt
as such to him who has done the wrong. 2
It must be understood, that neither by word nor deed had
I
given Fortunato cause to doubt my good-will. I continued, as
was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that
my smile now was at the thought of his immolation. 3
He had a weak point—this Fortunato—although in other
Vocabulary
regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He
prided himself on his connoisseurship 4 in wine. Few Italians
have the true virtuoso spirit. For the most part their enthusiasm
is
adopted to suit the time and opportunity—to practice
preclude (pri kloodʼ) v. to
prevent; to make impossible
impunity (im pŪʼ nə tē) n.
freedom from punishment,
harm, or bad consequences
imposture upon the British and Austrian millionnaires. In
painting and gemmary Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a
quack—but in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this
respect I did not differ from him materially: I was skillful in the
Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could.
Vocabulary appears on the same
page as the new word.
Vocabulary Skill
Word Parts The word impunity is
related to the word punishment.
The prefix im- adds a negative or
opposite meaning to the root pun-,
so that impunity means “safe from
punishment.” On the lines below,
rewrite the sentence in which the
word impunity appears in your
own words.
The Cask of Amontillado
1. Fortunato (fôrˊ too nä̈ʼ tō)̄
2. [A wrong is
done the wrong.] These sentences might be rephrased this way:
“A wrong is not avenged if the avenger either is punished for taking revenge or does
not make the wrongdoer aware that he is taking revenge.”
It
was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness
Vocabulary
3. Here, immolation means “death or destruction.”
of the carnival season, that I encountered my friend. He accosted
4. Connoisseurship is expert knowledge that qualifies one to pass judgment in a
particular area.
me with excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much. The
man wore motley. 5 He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress,
and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells. I was
so pleased to see him, that I thought I should never have done
wringing his hand.
accost (ə kôstʼ) v. to approach
and speak to, especially in an
aggressive manner
4
I
said to him: “My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How
Read and Discuss
Questions about the Reading Strategy
allow you to practice this feature.
remarkably well you are looking today! But I have received a
pipe of what passes for Amontillado, 6 and I have my doubts.”
“How?” said he. “Amontillado? A pipe? Impossible! And in
the middle of the carnival!”
“I have my doubts,” I replied; “and I was silly enough to pay
the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter.
You were not to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain.”
“Amontillado!”
“I have my doubts.”
“Amontillado!”
With a partner, read the
dialogue between Fortunato
and Montresor aloud. Discuss
why you think Montresor
repeatedly refuses to take
Fortunato into the vaults.
“And I must satisfy them.”
“Amontillado!”
“As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchesi. 7 If anyone
has a critical turn, it is he. He will tell me——”
“Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry.”
“And yet some fools will have it that his taste is a match for
your own.”
“Come, let us go.”
“Whither?”
“To your vaults.”
“My friend, no; I will not impose upon your good nature. I
perceive you have an engagement. Luchesi—”
“I have no engagement;—come.”
“My friend, no. It is not the engagement, but the severe
cold with which I perceive you are afflicted. The vaults are
insufferably damp. They are encrusted with niter.” 8
“Let us go, nevertheless. The cold is merely nothing.
Amontillado! You have been imposed upon. And as for Luchesi,
he cannot distinguish Sherry from Amontillado.”
5. Motley is the multicolored costume of a court jester or clown.
Footnotes define terms in the text.
6. A pipe is a wine barrel that holds 126 gallons. Amontillado is a kind of pale, dry
sherry from Spain.
7. Luchesi (loo kāˊ sē)
8. Niter is a salt-like substance found in cool, damp places.
The Cask of Amontillado
5
The Cask of Amontillado Here I knocked off the neck of a bottle which I
The Cask of Amontillado
Here I knocked off the neck of a bottle which I drew from a
long row of its fellows that lay upon the mold.
“Drink,” I said, presenting him the wine.
He raised it to his lips with a leer. He paused and nodded to
me familiarly, while his bells jingled.
“I drink,” he said, “to the buried that repose 13 around us.”
“And I to your long life.”
He again took my arm, and we proceeded.
“These vaults,” he said, “are extensive.”
“The Montresors,” I replied, “were a great and numerous
family.”
Literary Element
Mood What mood does Poe
create for the reader in this scene?
Put a check in the box next to your
answer below.
Questions about the Literary Element
■ The reader feels hopeful about
Fortunato’s recovery.
■ The reader wonders what will
happen when Fortunato tastes
the Amontillado.
allow you to practice this feature.
“I forget your arms.” 14
“A huge human foot d’or, in a field azure;
the foot crushes a serpent rampant 15 whose
fangs are imbedded in the heel.”
“And the motto?”
“Nemo me impune lacessit.” 16
“Good!” he said.
The wine sparkled in his eyes and the
■ The reader believes that
something bad will happen to
Fortunato.
coat of arms
bells jingled. My own fancy grew warm with the Medoc.
We had passed through walls of piled bones, with casks and
puncheons 17 intermingling, into the inmost recesses of the
catacombs. I paused again, and this time I made bold to seize
Fortunato by an arm above the elbow.
13. To repose is to lie at rest either sleeping or in death.
14. Arms is short for “coat of arms,” an arrangement of figures and symbols on or
around a shield that, along with a motto, represents one’s ancestory.
15. The Montresor family’s coat of arms includes a golden foot on a sky-blue
background and a snake rising up.
16. The motto is Latin for “Nobody provokes me with impunity.”
17. Casks and puncheons are large containers for storing liquids.
READING
CHECK
While you read, Reading Check boxes
help you to check your comprehension.
Summarize
Do you understand what is happening in the first part of
this story? Read as far as the sentence beginning “Be it so.”
Summarize the beginning part of the story in your own words.
What has happened so far?
That One Man’s Profit Is Another’s Loss
Note Taking
Reread the text on the left. Then record your answers to the items below.
1. Montaigne believes that if someone is condemned for profiting from someone’s loss, then
The Cask of Amontillado
7
This is because
2. According to Montaigne, if you look within yourself you will see
3. As I read this page, one thing I learned that I didn’t know before is
4. Recap, or write in your own words, what you learned by reading this
5. Summarize below what you have learned thus far by reading this
You can respond to and interact
with nonfiction text on special
Note Taking pages.
That One Man’s Profit Is Another’s Loss
95
ix

Show What You Know

After reading activities help you focus your understanding of the text. Here, you apply the skills and strategies you practiced during reading.

After Reading After You Read The Cask of Amontillado Connect to the Story Look back
After Reading
After You Read
The Cask of Amontillado
Connect to the Story
Look back at the possible reasons for revenge that you suggested on page 2.
The chart below lists two facts from the story. Write down a possible reason for
revenge that corresponds to each fact.
Connect, Literary Element, and
Reading Strategy allow you to
check your responses that you
gave before reading to see if your
thoughts or opinions have changed
after reading.
Detail from the Story
Possible Reasons For Revenge
Fortunato considers himself knowledgeable
about wines.
Fortunato is rich.
Literary Element
Mood
Vocabulary shows how well you
learned the new vocabulary.
In what way does the mood of Poe’s story contribute to the story’s effect on the
reader? On the lines below, indicate how each detail contributes to the story’s mood.
Detail
Mood Created
Niter grows on the vault’s walls.
The two men walk ever deeper into
the vaults.
After You Read
Reading Strategy
Paraphrase
The Cask of Amontillado
The chart below contains quotations from the story. Paraphrase the quotations
and indicate why they are important to the plot of “The Cask of Amontillado.”
Vocabulary
Quotation
Paraphrase
What it means
“And yet some fools will have it that his
taste is a match for your own.”
impunity
preclude
explicit
accost
implore
“Its walls had been lined with human
remains piled to the vault overhead, in the
fashion of the great catacombs of Paris.”
A. Word Meaning Use the boldfaced vocabulary words to fill in the blanks in
the following paragraph.
“The noise lasted for several minutes,
during which, that I might hearken to it
with the more satisfaction, I ceased my
labors and sat down upon the bones.”
1. Montresor should realize he cannot kill with
because the
law could catch up with him.
2. Police officers could be waiting outside his palazzo to
him.
3. As the story’s narrator, Montresor is
with the reader about
his plans to harm Fortunato.
12
4. Montresor thought that the servants’ presence in the house might
his plans for Fortunato.
5. Why didn’t Fortunato
Montresor to spare his life?
After You Read
The Cask of Amontillado
B. Context Clues Underline the context clues in each of the following sentences
that help you to determine the meaning of the boldfaced word. Then explain
your choices on the lines below.
Sensory Details Chart
1. Wanting the lead role, the aggressive actor made plans to accost the
director of the school play on his way home.
Sometimes a chart can help you organize facts or details from a text. Sensory
details are words and phrases an author uses to help create mood and bring to
mind the five senses—seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting. Sensory
details make writing come alive and help the reader imagine what is being
described. For each of the senses named below, add details from the story that
appeal to that sense. An example has been done for you.
Explanation:
2. Some students felt that Jake’s bad grades should preclude him from
being considered for the lead role.
Explanation:
Sight
Niter like moss on walls
3. The director had left no doubt in his students’ minds about his
requirements; he had been explicit about them.
Explanation:
4. Jake was eager to play the part of Montresor in The Cask of Amontillado.
In fact, he implored the director to give me the part.
Explanation:
Sound
The Cask of Amontillado
13
Touch
Activities help you to organize what
Taste
you learned about the selection.
Smell
14
Many other activities also appear
in the back of your book.
x
Learning Objectives For pages 1–12 In studying this text, you will focus on the following
Learning Objectives
For pages 1–12
In studying this text, you
will focus on the following
objectives:
Literary Study: Analyzing
mood.
Reading: Analyzing cultural
context.
AAnn AAstrologer’strologer’ss DDayay
by R. K. Narayan

An Astrologer's Day

1

AAnn AAstrologer’strologer’ss DDayay Connect to the Short Story In “An Astrologer’s Day,” R. K. Narayan
AAnn AAstrologer’strologer’ss DDayay
Connect to the Short Story
In “An Astrologer’s Day,” R. K. Narayan presents an experience that overtakes a fortune-
teller who practices his trade in a city marketplace. The following words and phrases list
key elements from the beginning of the story in the order in which they occur.
• astrologer
• city marketplace
• fled village
• shrewd guesswork
• careful listening
• human nature
Work with a partner to brainstorm possible ways to connect this chain of clues. Then
write a one-paragraph version of what they reveal about the character of the astrologer.
Build Background
• R. K. Narayan enjoyed writing stories that both entertain and inform readers.
• Most of his stories, including “An Astrologer’s Day,” take place in a make-believe
Indian village.
• Many of these stories are comical accounts about individuals who are trying to
find peace in a restless world.
• Astrology is a type of fortune telling. Some astrologers claim that they can predict
a person’s future.
Now, use information from Connect to the Story and Build Background to make a
prediction about what might happen in the story.
Set Purposes for Reading
In this short story, Narayan’s fortune-teller must think quickly when he is suddenly
confronted by someone from his past. Read to find out how closely your prediction
matches what happens in the story.

Before You Read

2

Literary Element Mood Mood is the atmosphere that a writer creates in a story. The
Literary Element
Mood
Mood is the atmosphere that a writer creates in a story. The mood that the writer
creates helps readers identify with the emotions that the characters experience as
they react to their surroundings. Writers use language, subject matter, setting, diction,
and tone to help convey a particular mood.
What situations in everyday life put you in a happy, sad, angry, nervous, or other
mood? What words or phrases would you use to describe your feelings and behavior
during such times? Work with a partner to make a list of verbs, adjectives, and adverbs
that describe your mood in a variety of situations.
Analyze Cultural Context
When you analyze cultural context, you pay attention to the details that reveal the
setting, dress, speech, mannerisms, and behaviors of a particular group of people at a
particular time in history. “An Astrologer’s Day” takes place in a village in India during
the 1940s. What do you already know about the people and customs of India during
this period? What would you like to learn? Create a chart like the one shown below
to record your thoughts. You can complete the third column of the chart after reading
the story.
What I Know
What I Want to Learn
What I Learned
Vocabulary
Word Origins
The origin and history of a word is called its etymology. You can
find a word’s etymology in a dictionary, usually at the beginning
or end of an entry. For the vocabulary word enhance, write its
definition on the line after it. Then find the word’s etymology in a
dictionary. Write the word’s origin and its meaning on the line after
the word from.
Vocabulary
enhance (en hansʼ) v. to make greater, as in
beauty or value
impetuous (im pechʼ oōəs) adj. rash
paraphernalia (parʼ ə fər nālʼ yə) n. things used in
a particular activity; equipment
enhance
from
piqued (pēkt) adj. aroused in anger; offended
incantation (inʼ kan tāʼ shən) n. words spoken in
casting a spell

An Astrologer's Day

3

AAnn AAstrologer’strologer’ss DDayay
AAnn AAstrologer’strologer’ss DDayay

Vocabulary

enhance (en hansʼ) v. to make greater, as in beauty or value
enhance (en hansʼ) v. to make
greater, as in beauty or value
Read and Discuss Read the opening of the story out loud with a partner, up
Read and Discuss
Read the opening of the story
out loud with a partner, up to
and including the sentence
that begins “People were
attracted to him.” As you read,
underline details that describe
the astrologer. Then discuss with
your partner why people would
be attracted to him. How does
the way he presents himself—
his features and the clothes he
wears—suit his profession? Write
your answer on the lines below.
his profession? Write your answer on the lines below. Reading Strategy Analyze Cultural Context Underline the

Reading Strategy

Analyze Cultural Context Underline the words and phrases in the highlighted passage that help you picture the marketplace.

Punctually at midday he opened his bag and spread out his professional equipment, which consisted of a dozen cowrie 1 shells, a square piece of cloth with obscure mystic charts on it, a notebook and a bundle of palmyra writing. His forehead was resplendent with sacred ash and vermilion, 2 and his eyes sparkled with a sharp abnormal gleam which was really an outcome of a continual searching look for customers, but which his simple clients took to be a prophetic light and felt comforted. The power of his eyes was considerably enhanced by their position—placed as they were between the painted forehead and the dark whiskers which streamed down his cheeks: even a half- wit’s eyes would sparkle in such a setting. To crown the effect he wound a saffron-colored 3 turban around his head. This color scheme never failed. People were attracted to him as bees are attracted to cosmos or dahlia stalks. He sat under the boughs of a spreading tamarind tree which flanked a path running through

the Town Hall Park. It was a remarkable place in many ways:

a

surging crowd was always moving up and down this narrow

 

road morning till night. A variety of trades and occupations was

represented all along its way: medicine-sellers, sellers of stolen

hardware and junk, magicians and, above all, an auctioneer of

hardware and junk, magicians and, above all, an auctioneer of cheap cloth, who created enough din
cheap cloth, who created enough din all day to attract the whole

cheap cloth, who created enough din all day to attract the whole

town.

groundnuts, who gave his ware a fancy name each day, calling

Next to him in vociferousness 4 came a vendor of fried

1. A cowrie (kauʼ rē) is a small snail commonly found in warm, shallow waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

2. Here, obscure means “difficult to understand” and mystic means “having hidden or secret meanings.” Palmyra (pal mı̄ʼ ra) refers to paper made from the leaves of the palmyra tree. The man’s forehead is full of splendor (resplendent) in that it is painted with dark ash and a red pigment called vermilion.

3. Saffron is an orange-yellow color.

4. Vociferousness (vō sifʼ ər əs nəs) means “noise outcrying.”

it Bombay Ice Cream one day, and on the next Delhi Almond, and on the third Raja’s Delicacy, and so on and so forth, and people flocked to him. A considerable portion of this crowd dallied before the astrologer too. The astrologer transacted his business by the light of a flare which crackled and smoked up above the groundnut 5 heap nearby. Half the enchantment of the place was due to the fact that it did not have the benefit of municipal lighting. The place was lit up by shop lights. One or two had hissing gaslights, some had naked flares stuck on poles, some were lit up by old cycle lamps and one or two, like the astrologer’s, managed without lights of their own. It was a bewildering criss-cross of light rays and moving shadows. This suited the astrologer very well, for the simple reason that he had not in the least intended to be an astrologer when he began life; and he knew no more of what was going to happen to others than he knew what was going to happen to himself next minute. He was as much a stranger to the stars as were his innocent customers. Yet he said things which pleased and astonished everyone: that was more a matter of study, practice and shrewd guesswork. All the same, it was as much an honest man’s labor as any other, and he deserved the wages he carried home at the end of a day. He had left his village without any previous thought or plan. If he had continued there he would have carried on the work of his forefathers—namely, tilling the land, living, marrying and ripening in his cornfield and ancestral home. But that was not to be. He had to leave home without telling anyone, and he could not rest till he left it behind a couple of hundred miles. To a villager it is a great deal, as if an ocean flowed between. He had a working analysis of mankind’s troubles: marriage, money and the tangles of human ties. Long practice had sharpened his perception. Within five minutes he understood what was wrong. He charged three pice 6 per question and never opened his mouth till the other had spoken for at least ten minutes, which provided him enough stuff for a dozen answers and advices. When he told the person before him, gazing at his palm, “In many ways you are not getting the fullest results for your efforts,” nine out of ten were disposed to agree with him. Or he questioned: “Is there any woman in your family, maybe

5. Groundnuts are peanuts.

6. A pice is a coin of India of very small value.

An Astrologer’s Day

a coin of India of very small value. An Astrologer’s Day Reading Strategy Analyze Cultural Context

Reading Strategy

Analyze Cultural Context What kind of life would the astrologer have led if he had remained in his village? Write your answer on the lines below.

in his village? Write your answer on the lines below. Literary Element Mood The description of
in his village? Write your answer on the lines below. Literary Element Mood The description of

Literary Element

Mood The description of the marketplace setting at the beginning of the story creates a positive, festive mood. Now you learn that the astrologer had to flee his village without telling anyone. How does this information affect that mood? Write your answer on the line below.

anyone. How does this information affect that mood? Write your answer on the line below. An

An Astrologer’s Day

Vocabulary

impetuous (im pechʼ oo əs) adj. rash
impetuous (im pechʼ oo əs) adj.
rash

Vocabulary

paraphernalia (parʼ ə fər nālʼ yə̄) n. things used in a particular activity; equipment
paraphernalia (parʼ ə fər nālʼ yə̄)
n. things used in a particular
activity; equipment
yə̄) n. things used in a particular activity; equipment Literary Element Mood Underline the clues in

Literary Element

Mood Underline the clues in the highlighted passage that suggest something serious is about to take place.

Vocabulary

piqued (pēkt) adj. aroused in anger; offended
piqued (pēkt) adj. aroused in
anger; offended
Vocabulary Skill
Vocabulary Skill
Vocabulary Skill

Vocabulary Skill

Vocabulary Skill
Vocabulary Skill

Word Origins Pique comes from a French word meaning “to prick or sting.” In what sense does the astrologer feel stung? Circle the best answer below.

He feels flattered.

He feels insulted.

He feels ignored

even a distant relative, who is not well disposed 7 towards you?” Or he gave an analysis of character: “Most of your troubles are due to your nature. How can you be otherwise with Saturn where he is? You have an impetuous nature and a rough exterior.” This endeared him to their hearts immediately, for even the mildest of us loves to think that he has a forbidding exterior. The nuts-vendor blew out his flare and rose to go home. This was a signal for the astrologer to bundle up too, since it left him in darkness except for a little shaft of green light which strayed in from somewhere and touched the ground before

him.

He picked up his cowrie shells and paraphernalia and was

putting them back into his bag when the green shaft of light was

blotted out; he looked up and saw a man standing before him.

He sensed a possible client and said: “You look so careworn. It

will do you good to sit down for a while and chat with me.” The

other grumbled some vague reply.

The astrologer pressed his

invitation; whereupon the other thrust his palm under his nose, saying: “You call yourself an astrologer?” The astrologer felt

challenged and said, tilting the other’s palm towards the green

shaft of light: “Yours is a nature said. “Tell me something

.” “Oh, stop that,” the other .”

Our friend felt piqued. “I charge only three pice per question,

and what you get ought to be good enough for your

At this the other withdrew his arm, took out an anna and flung it out to him, saying, “I have some questions to ask. If I prove you are bluffing, you must return that anna to me with interest.” “If you find my answers satisfactory, will you give me five rupees?” “No.” “Or will you give me eight annas?” 8 “All right, provided you give me twice as much if you are wrong,” said the stranger. This pact was accepted after a little further argument. The astrologer sent up a prayer to heaven as the other lit a cheroot. 9 The astrologer caught a glimpse of his

face by the matchlight. There was a pause as cars hooted on the road, jutka 10 drivers swore at their horses and the babble of the crowd agitated the semi-darkness of the park. The other sat down, sucking his cheroot, puffing out, sat there ruthlessly. The astrologer felt very uncomfortable. “Here, take your anna back.

I am not used to such challenges. It is late for me

.”

.”

7. In this paragraph, disposed is used twice with slightly different meanings. The first time, you might substitute likely or inclined. The second time, substitute favorable for the phrase “well disposed.”

8. The anna is a former coin of India that was equal to four pice. The rupee is a coin equal to sixteen annas.

9. A cheroot (shə rootʼ) is a cigar cut square at both ends.

cheroot ( shə rootʼ ) is a cigar cut square at both ends. 10. A jutka

10. A jutka (jootʼ kə) is a two-wheeled, horse-drawn vehicle.

He made preparations to bundle up. The other held his wrist and said, “You can’t get out of it now. You dragged me in while

I was passing.” The astrologer shivered in his grip; and his

voice shook and became faint. “Leave me today. I will speak to you tomorrow.” The other thrust his palm in his face and said, “Challenge is challenge. Go on.” The astrologer proceeded with

his throat drying up. “There is a woman

“Stop,” said the other. “I don’t want all that. Shall I succeed in my present search or not? Answer this and go. Otherwise

I will not let you go till you disgorge 11 all your coins.” The

astrologer muttered a few incantations and replied, “All right. I will speak. But will you give me a rupee if what I say is convincing? Otherwise I will not open my mouth, and you may do what you like.” After a good deal of haggling the other agreed. The astrologer said, “You were left for dead. Am I right?” “Ah, tell me more.” “A knife has passed through you once?” said the astrologer. “Good fellow!” He bared his chest to show the scar. “What else?” “And then you were pushed into a well nearby in the field. You were left for dead.”

.”

11. Here, disgorge means “to give up or hand over.”

READING

CHECK

Question

Why do you think the astrologer becomes uncomfortable and tries to leave after he has caught a glimpse of the stranger’s face? Write your answer on the lines below.

An Astrologer’s Day

Write your answer on the lines below. An Astrologer’s Day Literary Element Mood When the astrologer

Literary Element

Mood When the astrologer catches a glimpse of the stranger in the match light, he becomes uncomfortable. What details in this description heighten the mood of discomfort? List them on the lines below.

the mood of discomfort? List them on the lines below. Vocabulary incantation (inʼ kan tāʼ shən)

Vocabulary

incantation (inʼ kan tāʼ shən) n. words spoken in casting a spell
incantation (inʼ kan tāʼ shən) n.
words spoken in casting a spell

An Astrologer’s Day

Read and Discuss Read out loud the advice that the astrologer gives to Guru Nayak.
Read and Discuss
Read out loud the advice that
the astrologer gives to Guru
Nayak. Then discuss these
questions with a partner: How
is it possible that the astrologer
knows the stranger’s name?
Why do you think he advises
Guru Nayak to return to his
village immediately and never
come back? Write your answers
on the lines below.
never come back? Write your answers on the lines below. Reading Strategy Analyze Cultural Context What

Reading Strategy

Analyze Cultural Context What details of Indian culture are mentioned on this page? Write some examples on the lines below.

on this page? Write some examples on the lines below. “I should have been dead if

“I should have been dead if some passerby had not chanced to peep into the well,” exclaimed the other, overwhelmed by enthusiasm. “When shall I get at him?” he asked, clenching his fist. “In the next world,” answered the astrologer. “He died four months ago in a far-off town. You will never see any more of him.” The other groaned on hearing it. The astrologer proceeded. “Guru Nayak—” “You know my name!” the other said, taken aback. 12 “As I know all other things. Guru Nayak, listen carefully to what I have to say. Your village is two days’ journey due north of this town. Take the next train and be gone. I see once again great danger to your life if you go from home.” He took out a pinch of sacred ash and held it out to him. “Rub it on your forehead and go home. Never travel southward again, and you will live to be

a hundred.” “Why should I leave home again?” the other said reflectively. 13 “I was only going away now and then to look for him and to choke out his life if I met him.” He shook his head regretfully. “He has escaped my hands. I hope at least he died as he deserved.”“Yes,” said the astrologer. “He was crushed under

a lorry.” 14 The other looked gratified to hear it. The place was deserted by the time the astrologer picked up his articles and put them into his bag. The green shaft was also gone, leaving the place in darkness and silence. The stranger had gone off into the night, after giving the astrologer a handful of coins. It was nearly midnight when the astrologer reached home. His wife was waiting for him at the door and demanded an explanation. He flung the coins at her and said, “Count them. One man gave all that.” “Twelve and a half annas,” she said, counting. She was overjoyed. “I can buy some jaggery 15 and coconut tomorrow. The child has been asking for sweets for so many days now. I will prepare some nice stuff for her.” “The swine has cheated me! He promised me a rupee,” said the astrologer. She looked up at him. “You look worried. What is wrong?” “Nothing.”

12. The expression taken aback means “suddenly surprised or startled.” 13. Here, reflectively (ri flekʼ tiv lē) means “in a way that shows serious and careful consideration.” 14. Here, a lorry is a long, flat, horse-drawn wagon. 15. Jaggery is unrefined sugar made from palm tree sap.

After dinner, sitting on the pyol, 16 he told her, “Do you know

a great load is gone from me today? I thought I had the blood of

a man on my hands all these years. That was the reason why I

ran away from home, settled here and married you. He is alive.” She gasped, “You tried to kill!” “Yes, in our village, when I was a silly youngster. We drank, gambled and quarreled badly one day—why think of it now? Time to sleep,” he said, yawning, and stretched himself on the pyol.

16. A pyol (pı̄ʼ ôl) is a low bench.

An Astrologer’s Day

( pı̄ ʼ o ̂l ) is a low bench. An Astrologer’s Day Literary Element Mood

Literary Element

Mood What change in mood occurs at the end of the story? Write your answer on the lines below.

the end of the story? Write your answer on the lines below. READING CHECK Summarize Why

READING

CHECK

Summarize

Why is the astrologer relieved and at ease at the end of the story? Write your answer on the lines below.

After You Read AAnn AAstrologer’strologer’ss DDayay Connect to the Short Story Review the paragraph you
After You Read
AAnn AAstrologer’strologer’ss DDayay
Connect to the Short Story
Review the paragraph you prepared for the activity on page 2. Does your
description of the astrologer’s character match the story’s description? If not,
rewrite your paragraph on the lines below to reflect what you learned about him.
Literary Element
Mood
Mood helps readers imagine the feeling of being in a scene and experiencing the
events as the characters do. The mood in “An Astrologer’s Day” changes several
times in the course of the story. What mood is created at the beginning of the
story? On the lines below, list some words or phrases that convey this mood.
How does the mood change when the astrologer encounters Guru Nayak?
What details convey this change?
How does the mood change again at the end of the story?
What details convey this change?
Analyze Cultural Context
Use information you learned from the story to fill in the last column of the chart
that you began at the start of this lesson. What details about life in India during
the 1940s are different from life in America today?
What details are similar to your experiences today?

10

After You Read AAnn AAstrologer’strologer’ss DDayay Vocabulary A. Word Meaning Circle the answer that best
After You Read
AAnn AAstrologer’strologer’ss DDayay
Vocabulary
A. Word Meaning Circle the answer that best fits the meaning of the boldfaced
vocabulary word in each sentence.
1. The cook added seasoning to the soup to enhance its flavor.
a
weaken
c make greater
b
slightly change
d sweeten
2. The impetuous camper ate all his rations before he realized there would
be none left for the next day.
a
rash
c experienced
b
thoughtful
d uninformed
3. The photographer arrived early in order to set up the paraphernalia she
would need for the photo shoot.
a
pictures
c furniture
b
equipment
d partitions
4. The boy’s disruptive behavior in class piqued the teacher.
a
embarrassed
c alarmed
b
amused
d offended
5. The priest chanted an incantation to rid the child of the evil spirits that
possessed her.
a a spoken spell
c
a stern warning
b a soothing lullaby
d a brief sermon
B. Word Origins Match each origin word listed below with its correct meaning.
Write the letter of the origin word on the line next to its meaning. Then
complete each sentence with the vocabulary word that is derived from the
origin word.
a. enhauncen
b. impetus
c. parapherne
d. piquer
e. incantare
1. to sting
The audience was
by the
speaker’s rude comments.
2. bride’s property beyond dowry
The athlete’s exercise
occupied more than half of her bedroom.
3. to enchant
The tribe’s holy man delivered an
to bring rain.

An Astrologer's Day

11

After You Read AAnn AAstrologer’strologer’ss DDayay Web Diagram Web diagrams provide a simple, visually helpful
After You Read
AAnn AAstrologer’strologer’ss DDayay
Web Diagram
Web diagrams provide a simple, visually helpful way to organize a variety of
details that illustrate a single subject. Review the information you have learned
about Indian culture in “An Astrologer’s Day.” Then fill in the three ovals in the
web diagram below with descriptive details of the marketplace, the astrologer’s
appearance, and other aspects of Indian life.
Cultural Details in “An Astrologer’s Day”
Astrologer’s
Other aspects
Marketplace
appearance
of Indian life
Narayan’s use of details of Indian culture

12

Learning Objectives For pages 13–26 In studying this text, you will focus on the following
Learning Objectives
For pages 13–26
In studying this text, you
will focus on the following
objectives:
Library Study: Analyzing
implied theme.
Reading: Making inferences
about theme.
Tuesday Siesta
by Gabriel García Márquez

Tuesday Siesta

13

Tuesday Siesta Connect to the Short Story A death usually prompts mourning and sadness. What
Tuesday Siesta
Connect to the Short Story
A death usually prompts mourning and sadness. What other experiences and emotions
might follow a death? For example, a person might be worried about money to pay for
the funeral, or troubled with regrets about the person who has died. In the left column
of the chart below, record either a real or imaginary situation involving a death. In the
right column note some emotions that such a situation might prompt.
Experience
I might feel that
Build Background
• Latin American author Gabriel García Márquez was raised by his grandparents,
who gave him a love of folktales and storytelling.
• His grandfather also helped his grandson understand how poor people suffer
under oppressive leaders.
• García Márquez wrote newspaper articles attacking government corruption.
Based on the information above, which of the following types of story would you
expect “Tuesday Siesta” to be? Place a check in the box next to your answer.
■ a science fiction story set on Mars?
■ an adventure story about explorers in the Arctic?
■ a realistic story about everyday people in Latin America?
Underline words and phrases in the Build Background statements above that support
your answer.
Set Purposes for Reading
In “Tuesday Siesta,” García Márquez describes how a woman and her daughter travel
to a town where the woman’s son has recently died. They are clearly mourning a lost
loved one, but their situation involves other issues and emotions besides sadness too.
Read to learn how this poor family confronts tragedy, both in the aftermath of a death
and in the time that led up to the death. Look for surprises and unexpected truths
about people as the story unfolds.

Before You Read

14

Vocabulary interminable (in turʼ mi nə bəl) adj. endless, or at least seeming to last
Vocabulary
interminable (in turʼ mi nə bəl) adj. endless, or at
least seeming to last forever
serenity (sə renʼ ə tē) n. calmness; peacefulness
scrutinize (skrootʼ ən ı̄zˊ) v. to examine carefully
and in detail
inscrutable (in skrooʼ tə bəl) adj. impossible to
understand or interpret
skeptical (skepˊ ti kəl) adj. doubtful; suspicious

Tuesday Siesta

15

Literary Element

Implied Theme

The theme is the central idea an author wants people to understand when reading a story. It often reveals something true about life. Writers rarely state the theme in so many words. Instead, they imply, or hint, the theme using setting, characters, plot, and dialogue. As you read, an understanding of the implied theme may come to you. To help this process, pause once on each page at an important point and ask yourself one of the following questions:

• Why does this character do or say this?

• Why did the author decide to describe this?

or say this? • Why did the author decide to describe this? Make Inferences About Theme

Make Inferences About Theme

To infer is to make a reasonable guess about what something means, using the information available and your own knowledge. As you read and collect the questions and answers described above, keep in mind that your own knowledge and experiences can help you draw conclusions about the story’s meaning.

Vocabulary

Word Parts

Read the vocabulary words and definitions out loud. Remember that prefixes, suffixes, and roots are the building blocks of words and can help you figure out what unfamiliar words mean. In this vocabulary list, two words share the same prefix, two share the same suffix, and two share the same root. Write down the shared word parts, along with what each means. Use a dictionary to help you if necessary.

words:

shared prefix:

prefix meaning:

words:

shared suffix:

suffix meaning:

words:

shared root:

root meaning:

Tuesday Siesta
Tuesday Siesta

Vocabulary

interminable (in turʼ mi nə bəl) adj. endless, or at least seeming to last forever
interminable (in turʼ mi nə bəl)
adj. endless, or at least seeming
to last forever
Read and Discuss Working with a partner, take turns reading the first two paragraphs of
Read and Discuss
Working with a partner, take
turns reading the first two
paragraphs of the story aloud.
When you read, take care to
speak slowly and clearly. When
you listen, visualize the scene
being described. Think not
only of the sights (such as the
symmetrical rows of banana
trees) but also of the sounds
(of the train) and details having
to do with touch (such as the
humid air).
details having to do with touch (such as the humid air). Reading Strategy Make Inferences About

Reading Strategy

Make Inferences About Theme What does this suggest about the characters’ lives and their state of mind? Write your answer on the lines below. What words in the sentence support your ideas? Underline them in the text.

the sentence support your ideas? Underline them in the text. The train emerged from the quivering

The train emerged from the quivering tunnel of sandy rocks, began to cross the symmetrical, interminable banana plantations, and the air became humid and they couldn’t feel the sea breeze any more. A stifling blast of smoke came in the car window. On the narrow road parallel to the railway there were oxcarts loaded with green bunches of bananas. Beyond the road, in uncultivated

spaces set at odd intervals there were offices with electric fans, red-brick buildings, and residences with chairs and little white tables on the terraces among dusty palm trees and rosebushes. It was eleven in the morning, and the heat had not yet begun. “You’d better close the window,” the woman said. “Your hair will get full of soot.” The girl tried to, but the shade wouldn’t move because of the rust. They were the only passengers in the lone third-class car. Since the smoke of the locomotive kept coming through the window, the girl left her seat and put down the only things they had with them: a plastic sack with some things to eat and a bouquet of flowers wrapped in newspaper. She sat on the opposite seat, away from the window, facing her mother. They were both in severe and poor mourning clothes. The girl was twelve years old, and it was the first time she’d ever been on a train. The woman seemed too old to be her mother, because of the blue veins on her eyelids and her small, soft, and shapeless body, in a dress cut like a cassock. She was riding with her spinal

column braced firmly against the back of

cassock
cassock

the seat, and held a peeling patent-leather handbag in her lap with both hands. She bore the conscientious serenity of someone accustomed to poverty. By twelve the heat had begun. The train stopped for ten minutes to take on water at a station where there was no town. Outside, in the mysterious silence of the plantations, the shadows seemed clean. But the still air inside the car smelled like untanned leather. The train did not pick up speed. It stopped at two identical towns with wooden houses painted bright colors. The woman’s head nodded and she sank into sleep. The girl took off her shoes. Then she went to the washroom to put the bouquet of flowers in some water. When she came back to her seat, her mother was waiting to eat. She gave her a piece of cheese, half a corn-meal pancake, and a cookie, and took an equal portion out of the plastic sack for herself. While they ate, the train crossed an iron bridge very slowly and passed a town just like the ones before, except that in this one there was a crowd in the plaza. A band was playing a lively tune under the oppressive sun. At the other side of town the plantations ended in a plain which was cracked from the drought. The woman stopped eating. “Put on your shoes,” she said. The girl looked outside. She saw nothing but the deserted plain, where the train began to pick up speed again, but she put the last piece of cookie into the sack and quickly put on her shoes. The woman gave her a comb. “Comb your hair,” she said. The train whistle began to blow while the girl was combing her hair. The woman dried the sweat from her neck and wiped the oil from her face with her fingers. When the girl stopped combing, the train was passing the outlying houses of a town larger but sadder than the earlier ones. “If you feel like doing anything, do it now,” said the woman. “Later, don’t take a drink anywhere even if you’re dying of thirst. Above all, no crying.” The girl nodded her head. A dry, burning wind came in the window, together with the locomotive’s whistle and the clatter of the old cars. The woman folded the plastic bag with the rest of the food and put it in the handbag. For a moment a complete picture of the town, on that bright August Tuesday, shone in

Tuesday Siesta

Vocabulary

serenity (sə renʼ ə te)̄ n. calmness; peacefulness
serenity (sə renʼ ə te)̄ n. calmness;
peacefulness
serenity (sə renʼ ə te)̄ n. calmness; peacefulness Literary Element Implied Theme What do the woman

Literary Element

Implied Theme What do the woman and girl do as the train ride comes to an end? Underline the words that tell you what they do. Why do you think they do this? Put a check in the box next to the best answer below.

They are in a happy mood.

They want to look more respectable.

They are going to a party.

They got messy as they ate.

Tuesday Siesta

Tuesday Siesta Reading Strategy Make Inferences About Theme The siesta, or midday rest, is a common

Reading Strategy

Make Inferences About Theme The siesta, or midday rest, is a common part of the daily routine in Latin American countries, so the woman would have known that her visit would take place while the town was quiet and at rest. What can you infer about the woman’s intentions?

Complete the sentence frame below.

The woman plans to arrive during the siesta and leave before it ends because

to arrive during the siesta and leave before it ends because the window. The girl wrapped

the window. The girl wrapped the flowers in the soaking-wet newspapers, moved a little farther away from the window, and stared at her mother. She received a pleasant expression in return. The train began to whistle and slowed down. A moment later it stopped. There was no one at the station. On the other side of the street, on the sidewalk shaded by the almond trees, only the pool hall was open. The town was floating in the heat. The woman and the girl got off the train and crossed the abandoned station—the tiles split apart by the grass growing up between— and over to the shady side of the street. It was almost two. At that hour, weighted down by drowsiness, the town was taking a siesta. The stores, the town offices, the public school were closed at eleven, and didn’t reopen until a little before four, when the train went back. Only the hotel across from the station, with its bar and pool hall, and the telegraph office at one side of the plaza stayed open. The houses, most of them built on the banana company’s model, had their doors locked from inside and their blinds drawn. In some of them it was so hot that the residents ate lunch in the patio. Others leaned a chair against the wall, in the shade of the almond trees, and took their siesta right out in the street. Keeping to the protective shade of the almond trees, the woman and the girl entered the town without disturbing the siesta. They went directly to the parish house. 1 The woman scratched the metal grating on the door with her fingernail, waited a moment, and scratched again. An electric fan was humming inside. They did not hear the steps. They hardly heard the slight creaking of a door, and immediately a cautious voice, right next to the metal grating: “Who is it?” The woman tried to see through the grating. “I need the priest,” she said. “He’s sleeping now.” “It’s an emergency,” the woman insisted. Her voice showed a calm determination. The door was opened a little way, noiselessly, and a plump, older woman appeared, with very pale skin and hair the color of iron. Her eyes seemed too small behind her thick eyeglasses. “Come in,” she said, and opened the door all the way.

1. A parish is the district (often a town) served by a church. The parish house is where the priest at that local church lives.

They entered a room permeated with an old smell of flowers. The woman of the house led them to a wooden bench and signaled them to sit down. The girl did so, but her mother remained standing, absent-mindedly, with both hands clutching the handbag. No noise could be heard above the electric fan. The woman of the house reappeared at the door at the far end of the room. “He says you should come back after three,” she said in a very low voice. “He just lay down five minutes ago.” “The train leaves at three-thirty,” said the woman. It was a brief and self-assured reply, but her voice remained pleasant, full of undertones. 2 The woman of the house smiled for the first time. “All right,” she said. When the far door closed again, the woman sat down next to her daughter. The narrow waiting room was poor, neat, and clean. On the other side of the wooden railing which divided the room, there was a worktable, a plain one with an oilcloth cover, and on top of the table a primitive typewriter next to a vase of flowers. The parish records were beyond. You could see that it was an office kept in order by a spinster. 3

2. In this sense, undertones are meanings that are implied by the way someone says something.

3. In a literal sense, a spinster is a woman who spins thread to make cloth. Often, as here, it is used to mean a woman who has never been married.

Tuesday Siesta

to mean a woman who has never been married. Tuesday Siesta Literary Element Implied Theme Why

Literary Element

Implied Theme Why do you think the woman would finally smile at this point? Write your answer on the lines below.

smile at this point? Write your answer on the lines below. READING CHECK Question Review the

READING

CHECK

Question

Review the page above to remind yourself what the woman does when she gets to the door of the parish house and write the answer below.

How does her action fit in with what you have learned so far about the woman? Explain your ideas on the lines below.

Tuesday Siesta

Tuesday Siesta Reading Strategy Make Inferences About Theme Why would it be easier to infer the

Reading Strategy

Make Inferences About Theme Why would it be easier to infer the family resemblance after the priest puts on his glasses? Write your answer on the lines below.

puts on his glasses? Write your answer on the lines below. Vocabulary scrutinize (skrootʼ ən ı̄zˊ)

Vocabulary

scrutinize (skrootʼ ən ı̄zˊ) v. to examine carefully and in detail
scrutinize (skrootʼ ən ı̄zˊ) v. to
examine carefully and in detail
Read and Discuss This paragraph includes description of all three people in the room. Reread
Read and Discuss
This paragraph includes
description of all three people
in the room. Reread it carefully.
What does each of them do,
and what might that action
reveal about the character? For
example, the priest stares at the
woman and blushes, because
he may be embarrassed. Discuss
your ideas with a partner.

The far door opened and this time the priest appeared, cleaning his glasses with a handkerchief. Only when he put them on was it evident that he was the brother of the woman who had opened the door. “How can I help you?” he asked. “The keys to the cemetery,” said the woman. The girl was seated with the flowers in her lap and her feet crossed under the bench. The priest looked at her, then looked at the woman, and then through the wire mesh of the window at the bright, cloudless sky. “In this heat,” he said. “You could have waited until the sun went down.” The woman moved her head silently. The priest crossed to the other side of the railing, took out of the cabinet a notebook covered in oilcloth, a wooden penholder, and an inkwell, and sat down at the table. There was more than enough hair on his hands to account for what was missing on his head. “Which grave are you going to visit?” he asked. “Carlos Centeno’s,” said the woman. “Who?” “Carlos Centeno,” the woman repeated. The priest still did not understand. “He’s the thief who was killed here last week,” said the woman in the same tone of voice. “I am his mother.” The priest scrutinized her. She stared at him with quiet self- control, and the Father blushed. He lowered his head and began to write. As he filled the page, he asked the woman to identify herself, and she replied unhesitatingly, with precise details, as if she were reading them. The Father began to sweat. The girl unhooked the buckle of her left shoe, slipped her heel out of it, and rested it on the bench rail. She did the same with the right one. It had all started the Monday of the previous week, at three in the morning, a few blocks from there. Rebecca, a lonely widow who lived in a house full of odds and ends, heard above the sound of the drizzling rain someone trying to force the front door from outside. She got up, rummaged around in her closet for an ancient revolver that no one had fired since the days of Colonel Aureliano Buendía, 4 and went into the living room without turning on the lights. Orienting herself not so much by

4. Aureliano Buendía (ou rā lyä nō bwan dē ä) is a character in García Márquez’s famous novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.

the noise at the lock as by a terror developed in her by twenty- eight years of loneliness, she fixed in her imagination not only the spot where the door was but also the exact height of the lock. She clutched the weapon with both hands, closed her eyes, and squeezed the trigger. It was the first time in her life that she had fired a gun. Immediately after the explosion, she could hear nothing except the murmur of the drizzle on the galvanized roof. Then she heard a little metallic bump on the cement porch, and a very low voice, pleasant but terribly exhausted: “Ah, Mother.” The man they found dead in front of the house in the morning, his nose blown to bits, wore a flannel shirt with colored stripes, everyday pants with a rope for a belt, and was barefoot. No one in town knew him. “So his name was Carlos Centeno,” murmured the Father when he finished writing. “Centeno Ayala,” 5 said the woman. “He was my only boy.” The priest went back to the cabinet. Two big rusty keys hung on the inside of the door; the girl imagined, as her mother had when she was a girl and as the priest himself must have imagined at some time, that they were Saint Peter’s keys. 6 He took them down, put them on the open notebook on the railing, and pointed with his forefinger to a place on the page he had just written, looking at the woman. “Sign here.” The woman scribbled her name, holding the handbag under her arm. The girl picked up the flowers, came to the railing shuffling her feet, and watched her mother attentively. The priest sighed. “Didn’t you ever try to get him on the right track?” The woman answered when she finished signing. “He was a very good man.” The priest looked first at the woman and then at the girl, and realized with a kind of pious 7 amazement that they were not about to cry. The woman continued in the same tone:

“I told him never to steal anything that anyone needed to eat, and he minded me. On the other hand, before, when he used to box, he used to spend three days in bed, exhausted from being punched.”

5. [Ayala] The young man’s full name was Carlos Centeno Ayala (sen tāʼnō yaʼ lə). In Spanish-speaking countries, a person’s name consists of the first name, the father’s last name, and the mother’s maiden name (her last name before she married). The person’s official last name is still considered to be the father’s name, even though it comes second to last in the full name.

6. Saint Peter’s keys refers to a scene in the Bible in which Jesus says he will give Saint Peter the keys to the gates of heaven. Often in Christian artwork Saint Peter is shown holding a key or receiving it from Jesus.

7. The word pious (pı̄ʼ əs) means religious or godly, although sometimes it is used to describe fake expressions of religious devotion.

Tuesday Siesta

fake expressions of religious devotion. Tuesday Siesta Literary Element Implied Theme To contradict means to

Literary Element

Implied Theme To contradict means to introduce something that is inconsistent with what might be expected. Authors sometimes use contradictions to hint at the theme by showing that a situation is not what it seems on the surface. What facts in this sentence contradict your expectations of what a thief is like? Write your answer on the lines below.

what a thief is like? Write your answer on the lines below. What might this imply

What might this imply about the theme? Write your answer on the lines below.

imply about the theme? Write your answer on the lines below. Literary Element Implied Theme What
imply about the theme? Write your answer on the lines below. Literary Element Implied Theme What

Literary Element

Implied Theme What is surprising about this statement? Considering what you have learned about the mother so far, are you inclined to believe her when she says this? Write your answer on the lines below.

so far, are you inclined to believe her when she says this? Write your answer on

Tuesday Siesta

Tuesday Siesta Reading Strategy Making Inferences About Theme In this sentence, the mother describes how she

Reading Strategy

Making Inferences About Theme In this sentence, the mother describes how she felt eating food that had been paid for with money her son earned fighting. What can you infer from her statement? On the lines below, make a list of as many ideas as you can.

Possible answer:

make a list of as many ideas as you can. Possible answer: Vocabulary inscrutable (in skrooʼ

Vocabulary

inscrutable (in skrooʼ tə bəl) adj. impossible to understand or interpret
inscrutable (in skrooʼ tə bəl) adj.
impossible to understand or
interpret

Vocabulary

skeptical (skepʼ ti kəl) adj. doubtful; suspicious
skeptical (skepʼ ti kəl) adj.
doubtful; suspicious

“All his teeth had to be pulled out,” interrupted the girl. “That’s right,” the woman agreed. “Every mouthful I ate those days tasted of the beatings my son got on Saturday nights.” “God’s will is inscrutable,” said the Father. But he said it without much conviction, partly because experience had made him a little skeptical and partly because of the heat. He suggested that they cover their heads to guard against sunstroke. Yawning, and now almost completely asleep, he gave them instructions about how to find Carlos Centeno’s grave. When they came back, they didn’t have to knock. They should put the key under the door; and in the same place, if they could, they should put an offering for the Church. The woman listened to his directions with great attention, but thanked him without smiling. The Father had noticed that there was someone looking inside, his nose pressed against the metal grating, even before he opened the door to the street. Outside was a group of children. When the door was opened wide, the children scattered. Ordinarily, at that hour there was no one in the street. Now there were not only children. There were groups of people under the almond trees. The Father scanned the street swimming in the heat and then he understood. Softly, he closed the door again. “Wait a moment,” he said without looking at the woman. His sister appeared at the far door with a black jacket over her nightshirt and her hair down over her shoulders. She looked silently at the Father. “What was it?” he asked. “The people have noticed,” murmured his sister.

“You’d better go out by the door to the patio,” said the Father. “It’s the same there,” said his sister. “Everybody is at the windows.” The woman seemed not to have understood until then. She tried to look into the street through the metal grating. Then she took the bouquet of flowers from the girl and began to move toward the door. The girl followed her. “Wait until the sun goes down,” said the Father. “You’ll melt,” said his sister, motionless at the back of the room. “Wait and I’ll lend you a parasol.” “Thank you,” replied the woman. “We’re all right this way. She took the girl by the hand and went into the street.

READING

CHECK

Summarize

On the lines below, write a brief summary of this story.

Tuesday Siesta

below, write a brief summary of this story. Tuesday Siesta Reading Strategy Making Inferences About Theme

Reading Strategy

Making Inferences About Theme In this passage, the author introduces a contradiction between what the sister says and her actions. What is the contradiction? What might this suggest about her intentions? Write your answer on the lines below.

the contradiction? What might this suggest about her intentions? Write your answer on the lines below.
After You Read Tuesday Siesta Connect to the Short Story Look back at the chart
After You Read
Tuesday Siesta
Connect to the Short Story
Look back at the chart you created on page 14. Now that you know more about
the woman’s son, imagine that you are in her place. What emotions would you
feel as you traveled to visit his grave? Write your answer on the lines below.
Imagine that you are the son. Why might you have made the same choices in
life? Write your answer on the lines below.
Literary Element
Implied Theme
Look over the questions and answers you compiled as you read “Tuesday Siesta.”
Are you still satisfied with your original answers? If the ending of the story has
changed your ideas, adjust your answers.
Making Inferences About Theme
Working with another student, share your lists of questions and discuss your
answers.
• Did your partner ask some of the same questions? If so, were their answers the
same? Talk about the similarities and differences and see if you can agree on
the most reasonable answer.
• What about the questions our partner asked that were different from yours? Do
you agree with the answers? Why or why not?

24

After You Read Tuesday Siesta Vocabulary interminable serenity scrutinize inscrutable skeptical A. Word Meaning
After You Read
Tuesday Siesta
Vocabulary
interminable
serenity
scrutinize
inscrutable
skeptical
A. Word Meaning Each phrase that follows can be associated with one of the
vocabulary words above. The phrases are not the same as a definition of the
word, but they are related. Match the phrases and words and then write a
sentence that includes both the vocabulary word and the phrase. The first one
has been completed for you as an example:
inscrutable
secret code
I write my diary in secret code, so it will be inscrutable to anyone who finds it.
Sentence:
1. quiet forest
Sentence:
2. period of time
Sentence:
3. opinionated person
Sentence:
4. tiny flaw
Sentence:
B. Word Parts Changing the suffix on a word can change its part of speech. For
example, the word interminable is an adjective, but you can change its suffix to
create the adverb interminably. An example of a sentence using interminably
would be: “It took an interminably long time for me to finish my book report
last night.”
Change the words below into the part of speech indicated and then use the
new word in a sentence.
1. Change the noun serenity into an adjective:
Sentence:
2. Change the verb scrutinize into a noun:
Sentence:

Tuesday Siesta

25

After You Read Tuesday Siesta Cluster Diagram A cluster diagram can be a helpful way
After You Read
Tuesday Siesta
Cluster Diagram
A cluster diagram can be a helpful way to show how many different details can
all contribute to one central idea. Review your questions and answers relating to
details and events from the story and how they might contribute to the implied
theme. Choose the most meaningful details and create a cluster diagram,
grouping them around a central box that contains your idea of the story’s theme.
Story Detail #1
Story Detail #2
Implied Theme
Story Detail #3
Story Detail #4

26

Learning Objectives For pages 27–50 In studying this text, you will focus on the following
Learning Objectives
For pages 27–50
In studying this text, you
will focus on the following
objectives:
Literary Study: Analyzing
theme.
Reading: Comparing and
contrasting characters.
When Mr. Pirzada
Came to Dine
by Jhumpa Lahiri

When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine

27

When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine Connect to the Story Imagine that you are safe
When Mr. Pirzada
Came to Dine
Connect to the Story
Imagine that you are safe and secure with friends while your family is in danger in
a distant country. Before you read the story, think about the following questions and
write your responses on the lines below each one.
1. How would you feel in this situation?
2. How would you act around friends who knew you were worried?
3. How much of your feelings would you reveal to your friends?
Build Background
• When British rule ended in India in 1947, India was divided along religious lines
into two countries, India (for Hindus) and Pakistan (for Muslims).
• East Pakistan and West Pakistan were on separate sides of the Indian
subcontinent. Part of India was between them.
• In 1971, when this story takes place, East Pakistan and West Pakistan were at war
because East Pakistan wanted to be independent.
• West Pakistan invaded East Pakistan, causing millions of East Pakistanis to flee
to India.
• India got involved, bringing a rapid end to the war. East Pakistan became the
independent state of Bangladesh.
Write a two-sentence summary of what you just read.
Set Purposes for Reading
In this story, a war in his distant homeland leaves a visitor to the United States
uncertain about the fate of his wife and daughter. Read to see how different
characters in the story react to his situation.

Before You Read

28

Literary Element Theme A theme is the central message of a literary work. Usually, the
Literary Element
Theme
A
theme is the central message of a literary work. Usually, the theme is not stated
directly by the author. Rather, it is revealed gradually, through plot events and
characters’ observations. A literary work can have more than one theme. Discuss with
partner the theme or themes of a story you have both read recently. Answer the
following questions, writing your answers on the lines below each one.
a
• What is the most important theme of the story?
• How does the plot help reveal the theme?
• How do the characters’ observations help reveal the theme?
• Does the story have any minor themes? If so, what are they?
Compare and Contrast Characters
When you compare and contrast characters, you note what is alike about them and
what is different. Comparing and contrasting characters gives you a better understanding of
why they act as they do. To practice comparing and contrasting characters, complete a Venn
diagram. In the middle section, write what is alike about you and a friend of yours. In the
side sections, write what is special about each one of you. Later, you can complete a Venn
diagram about characters in the story.
Vocabulary
ascertaining (asʼ ər tānʼ ing) v. finding out for sure
Vocabulary
Context Clues
austere (ôs tērʼ) adj. without decoration; very
simple
When you come across an unfamiliar word, use context clues—the
words and phrases surrounding the word—to determine its meaning.
Look at the definitions and parts of speech for the words in the
minor column of this page. Say each word. Then write it on the
blank in the sentence. Circle the words in the sentence that provide
context clues about the meaning of the word.
impeccably (im pekʼ ə ble) adv. without error or
flaw; perfectly
imperceptible (imʼ pər sepʼ tə bəl) adj. not able to
be seen or sensed
intimidation (in timʼ ə dä shən) n. the act of
making one feel afraid or discouraged
word
sentence
ascertaining
The detective was
who committed the crime by talking to witnesses.
austere
Helen’s
dress was plain gray, with no trim.
impeccably
Don’s manners were so
correct that he put everyone at ease.
imperceptible
The snake’s movement in the grass was
, so we did not see it.
intimidation
When the bully used
against him, Frank reported it to the principal.

When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine

29

When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine
When Mr. Pirzada
Came to Dine

Vocabulary

ascertaining (asʼ ər tānʼ ing) v. finding out for sure
ascertaining (asʼ ər tānʼ ing) v.
finding out for sure
Context Clues
Context Clues
Context Clues

Context Clues

Context Clues
Context Clues

Look at the way the word ascertaining is used in the highlighted text. Circle the context clues that help you determine its meaning.

the context clues that help you determine its meaning. Literary Element Theme A theme in a

Literary Element

Theme A theme in a story can often develop out of contrasts in settings. How would you describe life in Dacca? Complete the following sentence frame:

Because of the war, life in Dacca had become

sentence frame: Because of the war, life in Dacca had become In the autumn of 1971
In the autumn of 1971 a man used to come to our house, bearing confections

In the autumn of 1971 a man used to come to our house,

bearing confections 1 in his pocket and hopes of ascertaining

bearing confections 1 in his pocket and hopes of ascertaining

confections 1 in his pocket and hopes of ascertaining His name was Mr. Pirzada, and he

His name was Mr. Pirzada, and

he came from Dacca, now the capital of Bangladesh, but then a part of Pakistan. That year Pakistan was engaged in civil war. The eastern frontier, where Dacca was located, was fighting for autonomy 2 from the ruling regime 3 in the west. In March, Dacca had been invaded, torched, and shelled by the Pakistani army. Teachers were dragged onto streets and shot, women dragged into barracks and raped. By the end of the summer, three hundred thousand people were said to have died. In Dacca Mr. Pirzada had a three-story home, a lectureship in botany at the university, a wife of twenty years, and seven daughters between the ages of six and sixteen whose names all began with the letter A. “Their mother’s idea,” he explained one day, producing from his wallet a black-and-white picture of seven girls at a picnic, their braids tied with ribbons, sitting cross- legged in a row, eating chicken curry 4 off of banana leaves. “How am I to distinguish? Ayesha, Amira, Amina, Aziza, you see the difficulty.” Each week Mr. Pirzada wrote letters to his wife, and sent comic books to each of his seven daughters, but the postal

1. Confections are sweets, such as candy or jam.

2. To have autonomy is to have the right to self-rule.

3. A regime (rə zhēmʼ) is a system of government.

4. Chicken curry is chicken cooked with various spices. These spices can include curry powder, ginger, and turmeric.

system, along with most everything else in Dacca, had collapsed, and he had not heard word of them in over six months. Mr. Pirzada, meanwhile, was in America for the year, for he had been awarded a grant from the government of Pakistan to study the foliage 5 of New England. In spring and summer he had gathered data in Vermont and Maine, and in autumn he moved to a university north of Boston, where we lived, to write a short book about his discoveries. The grant was a great honor, but when converted into dollars it was not generous. As a result, Mr. Pirzada lived in a room in a graduate dormitory, 6 and did not own a proper stove or a television set of his own. And so he came to our house to eat dinner and watch the evening news. At first I knew nothing of the reason for his visits. I was ten years old, and was not surprised that my parents, who were from India, and had a number of Indian acquaintances at the university, should ask Mr. Pirzada to share our meals. It was a small campus, with narrow brick walkways and white pillared buildings, located on the fringes of what seemed to be an even smaller town. The supermarket did not carry mustard oil, 7 doctors did not make house calls, neighbors never dropped by without an invitation,

and of these things, every so often, my parents complained. In search of compatriots, 8 they used to trail their fingers, at the start of each new semester, through the columns of the university directory, circling surnames 9 familiar to their part of the world. It was in this manner that they discovered Mr. Pirzada, and phoned him, and invited him to our home. I have no memory of his first visit, or of his second or his third, but by the end of September I had grown so accustomed to Mr. Pirzada’s presence in our living room that one evening, as I was dropping ice cubes into the water pitcher, I asked my mother to hand me a fourth glass from a cupboard

still out of my reach. She was busy at the stove, presiding over a skillet of fried spinach with radishes, and could not hear me because of the drone of the exhaust fan and the fierce scrapes of her spatula. 10 I turned to my father, who was leaning against the refrigerator, eating spiced cashews 11 from a cupped fist. “What is it, Lilia?” “A glass for the Indian man.”

spatula
spatula

5.

Foliage (fōʼ lē ij) is the leaves on a tree or other plant.

6.

A dormitory is a building, as at a school or college, with many rooms for sleeping.

7.

Mustard oil is made from mustard seeds. It is used in cooking Indian foods.

8.

Compatriots are people from one’s home country.

9.

A surname is a person’s family name.

10.

A spatula is a cooking item. It has a broad flexible blade that is used to spread or mix food.

11.

Cashews are nuts from the cashew tree.

When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine

Read and Discuss Read this paragraph aloud with a partner. As you read, underline details
Read and Discuss
Read this paragraph aloud
with a partner. As you read,
underline details that reveal
information about Lilia’s
parents. Then discuss with
your partner what these details
suggest about them. Write your
responses on the lines below.

When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine

When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine Reading Strategy Compare and Contrast Characters Why does Lilia think

Reading Strategy

Compare and Contrast Characters Why does Lilia think that Mr. Pirzada is an Indian man? Write your answer on the lines below. Then, underline phrases in this paragraph that give you this information.

phrases in this paragraph that give you this information. Vocabulary austere (ôs tērʼ) adj. without decoration;

Vocabulary

austere (ôs tērʼ) adj. without decoration; very simple
austere (ôs tērʼ) adj. without
decoration; very simple
Vocabulary Skill
Vocabulary Skill
Vocabulary Skill

Vocabulary Skill

Vocabulary Skill
Vocabulary Skill

Word Origins Point out to students that the word austere comes from a Greek word, austeros, meaning “making the tongue dry and rough, (hence) severe, harsh.” Ask: How might the ancient meaning of austeros be related to the modern meaning of austere? (Perhaps austere food made the tongue dry and rough because it had no honey or oil.)

“Mr. Pirzada won’t be coming today. More importantly, Mr. Pirzada is no longer considered Indian,” my father announced,

brushing salt from the cashews out of his trim black beard. “Not since Partition. 12 Our country was divided. 1947.” When I said I thought that was the date of India’s independence from Britain, my father said, “That too. One moment we were free and then we were sliced up,” he explained, drawing an X with his finger on the countertop, “like

a pie. Hindus here, Muslims there. Dacca no longer belongs to

us.” He told me that during Partition Hindus and Muslims had

set fire to each other’s homes. For many, the idea of eating in the other’s company was still unthinkable. It made no sense to me. Mr. Pirzada and my parents spoke the same language, laughed at the same jokes, looked more or less the same. They ate pickled mangoes 13 with their meals, ate rice every night for supper with their hands. Like my parents, Mr. Pirzada took off his shoes before entering a room, chewed fennel 14 seeds after meals as a digestive, drank no alcohol, for dessert dipped austere biscuits into successive cups of tea. Nevertheless my father insisted that I understand the difference, and he led me to a map of the world taped to the wall over his desk. He seemed concerned that Mr. Pirzada might take offense

if I accidentally referred to him as an Indian, though I could not

really imagine Mr. Pirzada being offended by much of anything. “Mr. Pirzada is Bengali, but he is a Muslim,” my father informed me. “Therefore he lives in East Pakistan, not India.” His finger trailed across the Atlantic, through Europe, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and finally to the sprawling orange diamond that my mother once told me resembled a woman wearing a sari 15 with her left arm extended. Various cities had been circled with lines drawn between them to indicate my parents’ travels, and the place of their birth, Calcutta, was signified by a small

silver star. I had been there only once and had no memory of the trip. “As you see, Lilia, it is a different country, a different color,” my father said. Pakistan was yellow, not orange. I noticed that there were two distinct parts to it, one much larger than the other, separated by an expanse of Indian territory; it was as

if California and Connecticut constituted a nation apart from

the U.S.

12. Partition refers to the creation of independent countries out of parts of the British Empire. Partition created India and Pakistan.

13. Mangoes are a sweet fruit. They come from the tropical mango tree.

14. Fennel is a tall plant with yellow flowers. Its seeds are used to flavor foods in cooking.

15. A sari (särʼ ē) is a piece of clothing worn by Hindu women. It is a single long piece of cloth. One end is wrapped around the waist to form a skirt. The other end is thrown over the shoulder or head.

My father rapped his knuckles on top of my head. “You are, of course, aware of the current situation? Aware of East Pakistan’s fight for sovereignty?” I nodded, unaware of the situation. We returned to the kitchen, where my mother was draining a pot of boiled rice into a colander. 16 My father opened up the can on the counter and eyed me sharply over the frames of his glasses as he ate some more cashews. “What exactly do they teach you at school? Do you study history? Geography?” “Lilia has plenty to learn at school,” my mother said. “We live here now, she was born here.” She seemed genuinely proud of the fact, as if it were a reflection of my character. In her estimation, I knew, I was assured a safe life, an easy life, a fine education, every opportunity. I would never have to eat rationed food, or obey curfews, or watch riots from my rooftop, or hide neighbors in water tanks to prevent them from being shot, as she and my father had. “Imagine having to place her in a decent school. Imagine her having to read during power failures by the light of kerosene lamps. Imagine the pressures, the tutors, the constant exams.” She ran a hand through her hair, bobbed 17 to a suitable length for her part-time job as a bank teller. “How can you possibly expect her to know about Partition? Put those nuts away.”

16. A colander is a bowl-shaped kitchen item. It has holes in the bottom for draining liquids.

17. Bobbed means “cut short.”

READING

CHECK

Predict

Do you think Lilia will learn about Partition? If so, who will teach her? Write your prediction on the lines below.

When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine

prediction on the lines below. When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine Literary Element Theme Why do

Literary Element

Theme Why do you think Lilia’s mother seems proud of this fact? Check all the reasons that apply.

She is happy that she and her husband have moved to the United States.

She thinks that American schools are too hard.

She is glad that her daughter is safe.

She is happy about her daughter’s educational opportunities.

is happy about her daughter’s educational opportunities. Reading Strategy Compare and Contrast Characters Why are

Reading Strategy

Compare and Contrast Characters Why are Mr. Pirzada and Lilia’s parents so much alike, even though they are not from the same country? Underline the best answer below.

• They have similar incomes.

• They come from an area that was one country when they were born.

• They practice the same religion.

• They are immigrants.

When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine

When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine Literary Element Theme Why do you think Lahiri includes this

Literary Element

Theme Why do you think Lahiri includes this detail? To answer this question, complete the following sentence frame: This detail emphasizes how well Lilia knows

but not

,

Vocabulary

impeccably (im pekʼ ə blē) adv. without error or flaw; perfectly
impeccably (im pekʼ ə blē) adv.
without error or flaw; perfectly
(im pekʼ ə blē) adv. without error or flaw; perfectly Reading Strategy Compare and Contrast Characters

Reading Strategy

Compare and Contrast Characters Why do you think Mr. Pirzada calls himself another refugee on Indian territory? Before you answer, review the Build Background on page 28. Then, complete these sentence frames:

When West Pakistan invaded East

Pakistan, millions of East Pakistani

Like these people, Mr. Pirzada is has

also found shelter with

“But what does she learn about the world?” My father rattled the cashew can in his hand. “What is she learning?” We learned American history, of course, and American geography. That year, and every year, it seemed, we began by studying the Revolutionary War. We were taken in school buses on field trips to visit Plymouth Rock, and to walk the Freedom Trail, and to climb to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument. We made dioramas 18 out of colored construction paper depicting George Washington crossing the choppy waters of the Delaware River, and we made puppets of King George wearing white tights and a black bow in his hair. During tests we were given blank maps of the thirteen colonies, and asked to fill in names, dates, capitals. I could do it with my eyes closed. The next evening Mr. Pirzada arrived, as usual, at six o’clock. Though they were no longer strangers, upon first greeting each other, he and my father maintained the habit of shaking hands. “Come in, sir. Lilia, Mr. Pirzada’s coat, please.” He stepped into the foyer, 19 impeccably suited and scarved, with a silk tie knotted at his collar. Each evening he appeared in ensembles 20 of plums, olives, and chocolate browns. He was a compact man, and though his feet were perpetually splayed, 21 and his belly slightly wide, he nevertheless maintained an efficient posture, as if balancing in either hand two suitcases of equal weight. His ears were insulated by tufts 22 of graying hair that seemed to block out the unpleasant traffic of life. He had thickly lashed eyes shaded with a trace of camphor, a generous mustache that turned up playfully at the ends, and a mole shaped like a flattened raisin in the very center of his left cheek. On his head he wore a black fez 23 made from the wool of Persian lambs, secured by bobby pins, without which I was never to see him. Though my father always offered to fetch him in our car, Mr. Pirzada preferred to walk from his dormitory to our neighborhood, a distance of about twenty minutes on foot, studying trees and shrubs on his way, and when he entered our house his knuckles were pink with the effects of crisp autumn air. “Another refugee, I am afraid, on Indian territory.” “They are estimating nine million at the last count,” my father said.

18. Dioramas are three-dimensional exhibits. They have lifelike figures in the foreground. A painted scene forms the background.

19. A foyer (foiʼ ər) is an entrance room or hall.

20. Here, ensembles (n sämʼ bəls) are clothes of matching colors.

21. Splayed feet are spread out in an awkward way.

22. Tufts are short clumps or clusters.

23. A fez is a tall felt hat, usually red. It has a black tassel hanging from the crown.

Mr. Pirzada handed me his coat, for it was my job to hang it on the rack at the bottom of the stairs. It was made of finely checkered gray-and-blue wool, with a striped lining and horn buttons, and carried in its weave the faint smell of limes. There were no recognizable tags inside, only a hand-stitched label with the phrase “Z. Sayeed, Suitors” embroidered on it in cursive with glossy black thread. On certain days a birch or maple leaf was tucked into a pocket. He unlaced his shoes and lined them against the baseboard; a golden paste clung to the toes and heels, the result of walking through our damp, unraked lawn. Relieved of his trappings, he grazed my throat with his short, restless fingers, the way a person feels for solidity behind a wall before driving in a nail. Then he followed my father to the living room, where the television was tuned to the local news. As soon as they were seated my mother appeared from the kitchen with a plate of mincemeat kebabs with coriander chutney. 24 Mr. Pirzada popped one into his mouth. “One can only hope,” he said, reaching for another, “that Dacca’s refugees are as heartily fed. Which reminds me.” He reached into his suit pocket and gave me a small plastic egg filled with cinnamon hearts. “For the lady of the house,” he said with an almost imperceptible splay-footed bow. “Really, Mr. Pirzada,” my mother protested. “Night after night. You spoil her.” “I only spoil children who are incapable of spoiling.” It was an awkward moment for me, one which I awaited in part with dread, in part with delight. I was charmed by the presence of Mr. Pirzada’s rotund 25 elegance, and flattered by the faint theatricality of his attentions, yet unsettled by the superb ease of his gestures, which made me feel, for an instant, like a stranger in my own home. It had become our ritual, and for several weeks, before we grew more comfortable with one another, it was the only time he spoke to me directly. I had no response, offered no comment, betrayed no visible reaction to the steady stream of honey-filled lozenges, the raspberry truffles, the slender rolls of sour pastilles. I could not even thank him, for once, when I did, for an especially spectacular peppermint lollipop wrapped in a spray 26 of purple cellophane, he had demanded, “What is this thank-you? The lady at the bank thanks me, the cashier at the shop thanks me, the librarian

24. Mincemeat

chutney is a mixture of chopped apples, raisins, and meat

When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine

Vocabulary

imperceptible (imʼ pər sepʼ tə bəl) adj. not able to be seen or sensed
imperceptible (imʼ pər sepʼ tə bəl)
adj. not able to be seen or
sensed
Read and Discuss With a partner, read this paragraph aloud. Underline words and phrases that
Read and Discuss
With a partner, read this
paragraph aloud. Underline
words and phrases that tell how
Lilia felt about Mr. Pirzada and
his gifts of candy. Then discuss
how you would feel if you
were in Lilia’s place. Write your
response on the lines below.

skewered and broiled and served with a relish made with the pleasant-smelling herb

coriander.

25. Rotund means “plump.”

26. Here, spray means that the cellophane has been shaped or twisted to look like a flower.

When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine

When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine Literary Element Theme Why do you think Mr. Pirzada makes

Literary Element

Theme Why do you think Mr. Pirzada makes such an outburst when Lilia thanks him for the candy? Put a check next to all statements below that you think may apply to him.

He feels Americans say “thank you” too much.

People in his country don’t act this way.

He is angry with Lilia because she never gives him anything in return.

His worry about his family makes him edgy.

in return. ■ His worry about his family makes him edgy. Reading Strategy Compare and Contrast

Reading Strategy

Compare and Contrast Characters How does winding the pocket watch make Mr. Pirzada different from Lilia’s family? Underline sections in the text that help you answer this question. Then, complete the sentence frames below.

Mr. Pirzada keeps his watch set to

the local time in

Thus, he is constantly aware of life

in

unlike Lilia’s family.

thanks me when I return an overdue book, the overseas operator thanks me as she tries to connect me to Dacca and fails. If I am buried in this country I will be thanked, no doubt, at my funeral.” It was inappropriate, in my opinion, to consume the candy Mr. Pirzada gave me in a casual manner. I coveted each evening’s treasure as I would a jewel, or a coin from a buried kingdom, and I would place it in a small keepsake box made of carved sandalwood beside my bed, in which, long ago in India, my father’s mother used to store the ground areca 27 nuts she ate after her morning bath. It was my only memento of a grandmother I had never known, and until Mr. Pirzada came to our lives I could find nothing to put inside it. Every so often before brushing my teeth and laying out my clothes for school the next day, I opened the lid of the box and ate one of his treats. That night, like every night, we did not eat at the dining table, because it did not provide an unobstructed view of the television set. Instead we huddled around the coffee table, without conversing, our plates perched on the edges of our knees. From the kitchen my mother brought forth the succession of dishes: lentils with fried onions, green beans with coconut, fish cooked with raisins in a yogurt sauce. I followed with the water glasses, and the plate of lemon wedges, and the chili peppers, purchased on monthly trips to Chinatown and stored by the pound in the freezer, which they liked to snap open and crush into their food. Before eating Mr. Pirzada always did a curious thing. He took out a plain silver watch without a band, which he kept in his breast pocket, held it briefly to one of his tufted ears, and wound it with three swift flicks of his thumb and forefinger. Unlike the watch on his wrist, the pocket watch, he had explained to me, was set to the local time in Dacca, eleven hours ahead. For the duration of the meal the watch rested on his folded paper napkin on the coffee table. He never seemed to consult it. Now that I had learned Mr. Pirzada was not an Indian, I began to study him with extra care, to try to figure out what made him different. I decided that the pocket watch was one of those things. When I saw it that night, as he wound it and arranged it on the coffee table, an uneasiness possessed me; life, I realized, was being lived in Dacca first. I imagined Mr. Pirzada’s daughters rising from sleep, tying ribbons in their

27.