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Salt Houses


From a dazzling new literary voice, a debut novel about a Palestinian family...
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Discuss Salt Houses by Hala Alyan:
What parallels do you see between Mustafa and Karam?

Created: 05/25/18

Replies: 4

Posted May. 25, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1626

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What parallels do you see between Mustafa and Karam?

What parallels do you see between Mustafa, the middle child between a quiet older sister and a spirited younger one, and Karam, who occupies a similar place in his family?


Posted Jun. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 259

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RE: What parallels do you see between Mustafa and Karam?

It seems they resembled each other, and shared some key personality traits, although we only hear once from Mustafa, for obvious reasons, and not at all from Karam. I get the sense that Karam is Alia's "unspoken" favorite because he reminds her of her brother. Both are easygoing, tender-hearted, close to their sisters, wanting to please others. Mustafa grows up with his father's anger and bitterness and then, his absence. As a young man, he is easily moved by the story he hears from the imam, easily influenced by Atef's enthusiasm for the cause, drawn into a political resistance which he knows isn't suited to his character ("I am the roar without the bite," he thinks), and it costs him his life. Karam in contrast grows up with his father's grief, but also his presence, his greater understanding and guidance. Karam is encouraged to develop his artistic side. He makes his way into a productive life. Karam shows us what Mustafa might have become.


Posted Jun. 12, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 312

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RE: What parallels do you see between Mustafa and Karam?

I agree with JLPen77. Karam and Mustafa are very similar. Both quiet and in the shadow of their sisters. Both could be easily swayed and this led to the death of Mustafa. Karam is the character developed to live the life that Mustafa could have had.


Posted Jun. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 97

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RE: What parallels do you see between Mustafa and Karam?

I think Reene probably said it best. Hearing mostly from Mustafa, as to his life, but seeing that Karam would be able to complete what Mustafa was not.


Posted Jun. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 277

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RE: What parallels do you see between Mustafa and Karam?

Well said takingmytime. II feel the same way.


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