Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard

by Kiran Desai

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Topics for Discussion

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1. Why is Sampath so distraught with his life in Shahkot? Are these feelings normal?

2. What is the significance of the monkeys' arrival in the guava orchard?

3. Characterize the relationship between Sampath and his mother. Is it a strong relationship?

4. Characterize the relationship between Sampath and his sister. Is this a normal relationship between siblings? How does the relationship change in the course of the novel?

5. What is "magical realism?" Were you able to move beyond the fact that the events in the novel were improbable, or did their improbability distract you from the story?

6. Why does Kulfi resort to painting pictures on the walls of the Chawla home? Does this action seem to help her?

7. Explain how Desai uses descriptions of food in the novel.

8. How would you describe the importance of community to these characters?

9. How is the image of the city treated in the novel?

10. What is the significance of the guava tree, besides being the place to which Sampath runs when he runs away from home?

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