Summary of chapter 3 of Palace Walk

In chapter, 3 the narrator describes the family’s morning routine. Amina and Umm Hanafi rise first to make breakfast, followed by Ahmad and the children. Some are slow to rise and some are quick, and they all then say their morning prayers. Through the family’s routine, the reader learns a bit about the individual personalities of each character.

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In chapter 3, the narrator continues to provide the reader with background information about the family. The chapter opens with Amina waking up and rousing Umm Hanafi, the maid in the house. As Amina goes through her morning routine, the reader learns more about the house and the family’s general routines.

For example, the narrator explains Amina’s relationship to each area of the house. The reader learns that Amina loves the oven room and how the room is most merry during holiday seasons. As a woman, Amina feels empowered and respected in the oven room. The narrator explains that “here she was the mother, wife, teacher, and artist everyone respected” (19). This feeling of pride helps Amina feel better about how she feels she lacks authority elsewhere in the house, especially upstairs.

After the descriptions of Amina and Umm Hanafi’s morning routines, Ahmad Abd al-Jawad wakes up. The narrator describes that he always wakes up angry and typically did not get a lot of sleep at night because he stayed out late. Then Ahmad’s sons Fahmy and Yasin wake up. The reader learns that Fahmy is quick to rise, and Yasin is usually resistant and grumpy. Finally, the daughters get up, and the narrator notes that Khadija is the most like her mother.

As the family all rises, the narrator goes on to describe their morning rituals, most notably how they say their morning prayers.

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