University of Newcastle upon Tyne Intl. Summer School Creative Writing: North of Where? Commentary on the power of Symbolism in Tayeb Salih’s story:” . The short story A Handful of Dates, by Tayeb Salih uses many different themes and literary techniques to tell a story of an innocent young boy discovering life’s. A Handful of Dates By: Tayeb Salih. This story is about a young boy whos looks up to his grandfather as a god. They are muslim which means.

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Women, and from the way my grandfather pronounced the word I felt that women was something terrible. Masood was then the owner of all these riches. Not knowing which direction to look. Sarah November 5, 7: In Next Door Paul the protagonist is confronted by a woman who attempts to bribe him. The grandfather and the others sepearted the dates and left none for Masood.

I saw people coming along and weighing them into measuring bins and pouring them into sacks, of which I counted thirty.

Hearing my grandfather call after me, I hesitated a little, then continued on my way. He wants all the land and he knows in time he will get it too. His stories are celebrated for their high degree of originality, humoristic and symbolic airs as well as their incorporation of aesthetic and literary features. My grandfather then continued: The reason was, no doubt, that I was quick at learning by heart and the Sheik always asked me to stand up and recite the Chapter of the Merciful whenever we had visitors, who would pat me on my head and cheek just as people did when they saw me with my grandfather.

The grandfather gave some of the dates to the boy and then they started to divide them.

I had all but rid my mind of the thoughts that jostled in it when I saw the man approaching us, and my grandfather and I exchanged glances.

He is the very thing that the young boy despises. I want Handdul Concept of cultural sudanese tradition as repersented by tayap salih in his short story A handful of date. Marouan December 19, 9: I ran off into the distance. Though the story was tiny and brief, it did say and exhibit a lot of themes of interest and applicability to people of all cultures and ideologies.


The action of this story, as with many of the stories written by El Tayeb Salih, occurs in the fictional setting of the village of Wad Hamid, which is in Central Sudan. I felt, though, that he did not really want my grandfather to attend. This suggests the broad gap in strength, consciousness and physical ability that separated the boy -protagonist- from his grandfather- to justify the boy’s limited reaction at the end of the story to the scenes of exploitation his grandfather practiced to which the boy was a witness.

The demagogy and cunning tactics – trademark of exploiters of all sorts and ages-are evident is his argument. Hating his grandfather for exploiting Masood’s troubles and spewing out the dates he was given to munch were the only logical and reasonable reactions he was capable of producing, given the limited physical and logistical capacity he was equipped with. Assia December 15, 4: No one paid any attention to what he said and the boy seated at the very summit of the date palm continued, quickly and energetically, to work away at the branch with his sickle till the clump of dates began to drop like something descending from the heavens.

Though none that I have read have a similar theme as A Handful of Dates. It can well stand for any tyrannical political or economic ideologies or regimes which happened to rule Sudan or other parts of the world, e.

Thus, it’s expected from an intelligent child to detest and never likes his grandfather any more. Quickening my pace, it was as though I carried within me a secret I wanted to rid myself of. I fancy you don’t like our neighbor Masood?

A Handful of Dates by Tayeb Salih

My grandfather must also have been extremely tall, for I never saw anyone in the whole area address him without having him look up at him, nor did I see him enter a house without having to bend so low that I was put in mind of hwndful way the river wound round behind the wood of acacia trees. I remembered Masood’s remark to me when he had once seen me playing with the branch of a young palm tree: Water Droplets on Grass.

He was mad at the way he had treated Masood. One day, the neighbour of the grandfather, Masood, told them that he was harvesting the dates and asked if they wanted to help.


For example, the river as ov symbol hancful make the boy’s change in heart towards his grandfather more meaningful and explains it better. It is also noticeable that nobody pays attention to Masood when the dates are being harvested.

Short Story Precis: A Handful of Dates By: Tayeb Salih

The grandfather treated Masood so badly and accuses him of being a worthless man as he is an ” indolent” man. I would need to read the story again. Some of the achievements gained from translating this story into English are: The effectiveness with which Tayeb Salih mastered the use of symbolic features throughout “A Handful of dates” to tie the story’s external action to the theme and display the everlasting struggle between good and evil is one of the many reasons why this short story will continue to raise the interest and passion of millions of readers both locally and abroad.

Ar Rjul wa Fikruhu. Notes on Tayeb Salih’s: I have an assignment to search for a story that has a similar theme and male comparison and analysis between them,but i cant find one.

Newer Post Older Post Home. In A Handful of Dates by Tayeb Salih we have the theme of connection, control, greed, selfishness, rejection, injustice, conflict and coming of age. The dates were collected into high mounds. Taking advantage of the silence that had descended on my grandfather, I turned my gaze from him to the vast area defined by words. You miss life if your hold a grudge towards someone. The narrator and his grandfather spend a lot of time together.

Palm trees, my boy, like humans, experience joy and suffering. I reached the riverbank near the bend it made behind the wood of acacia trees.

Probably he might have lost the trust that he had on his grandfather in the story. The sound of the words that were said by his grandfather made him wish that his grandfather never said that. How I wished my grandfather wouldn’t do what he’d said!