These are the activities Pato gaves us according to the story we read “My Son, the Fanatic”.
1. What prevents Parvez from communicating directly with his son?
-At the beginning of the story, we are able to see how difficult is is for parvez to communicate with Ali, as he works for long hours, and has not much time to spend with his son. Moreover, Parvez culture is a very particular one, in which most things are already established, and he does not really know how to approach to his son, as he has never been taught how to do it. As a consequence, he does not really know how to be a father or how to be a model for Ali. In addition, through the story, this difficulties to communicate become more clear due to Parvez and Ali’s ideological differences, which in a way destroy their already poor relationship, and leave in evidence Parvez’s fear towards his son.
2. What is Parvez’s dream for Ali’s future?
-Parvez dream for his son is for him to take advantage of all his father’s effort and hard work, by working hard with his education and becoming an accountant. He also dreams for Ali adapting as an English man, a “normal” man.
3. How would you describe the personality of the following characterize:
-Parvez is a very hard working and devoted man, but a bit stubborn and disloyal, as he tries to adapt to the English life becoming something he really wasn’t, and also betraying his wife having a lover. In the end, he is just a not too intelligent man who has communication problems and just cares about his son’s future.
Ali, is a very strange but fanatic young man, who is loyal and original, and is willing to sacrifice everything for his religion. In a way, he is also a selfish character, as he ignores everything his father has done for him.
Finally, Bettina is a good poor woman, who is merciful as she feels sad for Parvez and his son. Her job is highly considered beneath one’s dignity, but she still keeps going, so we may say she is brave as well.
4. How would you describe the following relationships?
a. Parvez and Ali at the beginning of the story
b. Parvez and Ali at the end of the story
c. Parvez and Bettina
d. Parvez and his coworkers
e. Parvez and his wife
a.The relation is quite mysterious as Parvez is worried of Ali’s changes in mood and their lack of communication.
b.This is a really violent and toxic relation, Parvez even seems to try to kill Ali thanks to his lack of obedience.
c.They have a really private relation, Bettina acts like Parvez’s wife talking with him about his problems and giving him “a ride for a ride”.
d.Parvez and his coworkers seem to be really good friends as he goes put with them to drink something, talk and have fun, when his is not working or sleeping.
e.This is probably the weakest relation in the story as Parvez barely talks to his wife and gives almost no participation to her in his life and his son’s life.
5. What advice does Bettina give Parvez?
Bettina advised several times to Parvez. For instance when he suggests to look into Alis eyes in order to know whether he was consuming or not. Also, and the most important thing, is that Bettina suggests to parvez to talk to Ali about what was going on. To communicate with is son.
6. What memory from Pakistan haunts Parvez?
-The memory which haunts Parvez from Pakistan, goes back to his childhood. He did not a have a clear model to follow, he did not have too much food to eat and develop properly, and he did not have a good education to grow up well and understand the world as it was.
7. What rules does Ali criticize Parvez for breaking?
-The rule that Ali criticizes the most is the constant drinking of alcohol. Parvez is constantly drinking “he went more often to the whisky bottle, even when he was at work”. Also he ate crispy bacon, which was forbidden by the Koran. The western culture was full of hypocrites, adulters, homosexualsm drug usres and prostitutes.
8. Why does Parvez like England?
Parvez likes England since it has nothing to do with Pakistan. Parvez worked so hard in order to be able to leave Pakistan, and England represents, in a way, all that effort he put in order to be able to have a better life, with good conditions. Parvez had spent lots of money to give his son the best of possibilities. In fact the son is able to study, something his father was not lucky enough to do. In opposition to his father, since it has nothing to do with his roots, and their traditions. In addition, his religion and true nationality are not fully accepted. Also London represents the capitalist world which blames them for all the problems in the middle east.
9. Why does Ali hate London?
Ali hates London for two main reasons. First, people in London don’t live according to the Quran and its rules, they drink alcohol, they eat pork, they accept prostitutes and none of them prays. Second, Ali says that London was attacking his people which is actually true as England, among other countries, bombarded and damaged muslim countries and communities more than ones in pursuit of power and fortune. Also, London doesn’t fully accepts muslims, so many of them have to adapt to a religion and culture which is alien to them.
10. What was the “last straw” that led Parvez to violence?
Probably the last straw which turned Parvez into a violent man was the fact that Ali didn’t even glance when his father entered angry to the room, in a sense of indifference towards the figure of his father. In addition, Ali was not simply avoiding his father but also praying muslim prayers which were not accepted by Parvez who was immersed in the occidental culture.
11. What does Ali mean in the last line of the story?
In the last line of the story Ali says “So who’s the fanatic now?”, after being kicked and aggressed by his father because of being considered a muslim fanatic by Pervez. This phrase has a lot of meaning in the story as it shifts the roles of the characters, Parvez from a peaceful guy to a fanatic and Ali from a muslim fanatic to a peaceful muslim. With this Ali means that the one who is a fanatic is his father as his is willing to sacrifice the life of his son in order to protect his thoughts or even the thought that were imposed to him, after Parvex accusing Ali of being a fanatic.
Complete the plot diagram online
Exposition: Parvez discovers his son Ali has no real plans for his future, but to devote himself to his religion, as he discovers he is a truly extremist fanatic.
Rising action: Ali, shows his total opposition to the English society (when he is in the car with Parvez and Bettina), and his clear idea of standing for his ideals and religion. He also insults both Bettina and his father, causing a rise in tension.
Climax: Parvez full of rage hits Ali several time, damaging his body but not his feelings.
Falling action: The falling action takes place when Ali asks Parvez “Who is the fanatic now?” stopping the aggression and causing the resolution.
Resolution: Relationship between father and son is destroyed, they will probably stop coexisting in Parvez’s house.