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Girls Burn Brighter


An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against ...
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Discuss Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao:
Why do you think the author chose to begin with the story about the old woman and the temple doors?

Created: 02/27/19

Replies: 11

Posted Feb. 27, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2082

Why do you think the author chose to begin with the story about the old woman and the temple doors?

Why do you think the author chose to begin with the story about the old woman and the temple doors? What tone does that set for the rest of the novel?


Posted Mar. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PlumGarden

Join Date: 07/27/17

Posts: 12

RE: Why do you think the author chose to begin with the story about the old woman and the temple doors?

I loved this story in the beginning! It really sets the tone for the book. I think it was chosen to give the book some mystery and also to give a sense of hope. The old woman wanted daughters whereas the rest of society viewed daughters as inferior to sons and cast offs of society. I thought it was a powerful message that daughters are precious and strong and should be valued.


Posted Mar. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 265

RE: Why do you think the author chose to begin with the story about the old woman and the temple doors?

Plumgarden says it well.


Posted Mar. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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donnac

Join Date: 03/26/14

Posts: 139

RE: Why do you think the author chose to begin with the story about the old woman and the temple doors?

I thought the significance of the story had to do with the fact that the trees from the old woman’s grove comprised the door to the temple. It is not insignificant that the doorway to a place of worship, to heaven (high on the hill) as it were is guarded by women. I drew a lot of meaning from the thought that the trees bring the woman company and shade as they sway in the wind with their green-gold light and yet are strong and tall. The old woman’s efforts of bringing water from a great distance represents her gift to future generations.


Posted Mar. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbarao

Join Date: 10/18/12

Posts: 14

RE: Why do you think the author chose to begin with the story about the old woman and the temple doors?

I agree with all the previous statements and would add that both Poornima and Savitha were symbols of those female guardian trees. Strong and tall and representing the hope for advancing the value of women into future generations.


Posted Mar. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 373

RE: Why do you think the author chose to begin with the story about the old woman and the temple doors?

The story talks about the strength of the trees, how strong they are despite the drought and the disease. I think the author included it to tell us that life is hard and it often seems like their is no hope for girls/women, but when they stand together like the grove of trees, they can overcome whatever life brings them. The old woman says the trees are her daughters, signifying the strength of women.


Posted Mar. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiap

Join Date: 07/27/17

Posts: 49

RE: Why do you think the author chose to begin with the story about the old woman and the temple doors?

The trees in the story are daughters not sons as the journalist's question states. The reader is left with the knowledge that this story will be about women and their strength, standing as trees against adversity.


Posted Mar. 11, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 210

RE: Why do you think the author chose to begin with the story about the old woman and the temple doors?

We make assumptions about things based on their appearances. Certainly a tree; strong, solid, and steady, would be a "son". Wouldn't we expect that in a place as important as a temple, the brave and luminous doors, built from the strongest stock (trees, which represent males). The story reminds us that looks can be deceiving. Our preconceived notions our not always what is true. You may want to discount the girl you see over there--but don't. She is stronger. She is taller. She is steadier. She is braver. She is more luminous. And she will amaze you with what she is capable of accomplishing-even you if set her up to fail from the very beginning.


Posted Mar. 11, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
charleneds

Join Date: 03/21/17

Posts: 24

RE: Why do you think the author chose to begin with the story about the old woman and the temple doors?

Women are not valued in this society. The temple is symbolic for both girls during the beginning of the story and so it became an introduction. The girls in this story were strong and steadfast in their feelings for each other. The trees were a fitting symbol for both of them. Daughters were of no value to the families in this story.


Posted Mar. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alwaysdaddygirl's Gravatar
alwaysdaddygirl

Join Date: 09/04/16

Posts: 110

RE: Why do you think the author chose to begin with the story about the old woman and the temple doors?

It has been a long time since I had read any cultural anthropology books. At first, I thought this was done as an introduction to India culture. I mean no disrespect. The nerd in me Google to see if storytelling is part of India culture.

When I read this article:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/13/girls-burn-brighter-shobha-rao-review

I realized I was wrong. For me, I try not to assume. I also try to keep an open mind and look at everything objectively. I am just being honest. Anyway, I agree with the other posts on this question.


Posted Mar. 13, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ColoradoGirl

Join Date: 05/16/16

Posts: 57

RE: Why do you think the author chose to begin with the story about the old woman and the temple doors?

I had to go back and read the opening story! It's very powerful and a perfect way to start this book and show the power of women and daughters in spite of the way they are treated.


Posted Mar. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 74

RE: Why do you think the author chose to begin with the story about the old woman and the temple doors?

The story at the beginning emphasizes daughters, girls, yet the society reveres males. Rao gives readers the story of the trees at the beginning to let them know that women will find a place in the novel. Their struggles will be difficult, but they are strong and they persevere.


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