Hello! I hope everyone is having a fantastic break. I decided to get ahead on these reading questions, so keep in mind that these are for Friday’s reading. Anyways, below are my reading questions.
- In “Faces to the Fire”, Sojin sees her time with Kori as a fantasy or escape from reality. Time, to her, didn’t affect them in the same way it defined everything else. However, it appears the same is not true for Kori. He used the people and tragedies around him for his own advantage. It seems that his mother’s death triggered this change. As he’s picking through the rubble and goods left behind by the fire, “he unearthed a possum’s skull and called it human” (72). In this way, Sojin and Kori are both in a constant loop of searching for something or someone. Are readers supposed to see Kori as the antagonist? Or is time the antagonist? War? Distance? Death? Is there even an antagonist? Who or what is in the wrong here?
- In “So That They Do Not Hear Us”, Sinaru has a special connection to Ahrim. They connect over their experiences with the ocean. Sinaru’s life was irrevocably changed when he lost an arm to a shark in the water. On the other hand, Ahrim makes a living in the ocean. Sinaru is fascinated with her career, a traditionally female role. She tries to teach him, but something about the dive scares him. The relationship they have is very confusing. At times, Ahrim is Sinaru’s protector. Other times, his healer. Once, when he remarks on her physical features, she is a sexual object to him. She is a mother figure. A teacher. A guide. Which of these is the most important to the story? How is their complicated relationship shaped by their personal circumstances? I talked about what she is to him, but what is Sinaru to Ahrim?
- “So That They Do Not Hear Us” shows Ahrim stuck in a loop of grief over her deceased husband. She is surrounded by reminders of him which she refuses to let go, as if by holding on to these, she will keep him alive: the house, the fruit, the buried bracelet, etc. However, the ocean is wholly hers and is her escape from her reality. Similarly to “Faces to the Fire”, time is what traps Ahrim in her reality. Despite this, the ocean opens up an avenue of timelessness. Somehow, still, Ahrim has a grasp on time in the ocean, unlike the other sea-women who died from staying under water too long. I am struggling to completely understand how these things come together in the story: grief, time, and the ocean. If the ocean is timeless and grief is tied to the time outside of the ocean, why doesn’t Ahrim submit to the ocean like the other women? Is she battling with the desire to do so? What tethers her to this traditional experience of life?
Piper’s Reading Questions for October 18th