Savannah Jones Research Blog

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Post #4: Story or poem analysis

on January 24, 2021

I have chosen Yemen as my country and recently read the short story “Declining Freedom”. In this story there is a lady that married to a Yemen politic and she goes out on the town with her young servant Umar. She goes to the store and picks up some chicken and sends Umar home to give it to the chef to cook for dinner that night. She is walking alone down a street downtown where none of the windows are open. A man in a car followers her down the road whistling and catcalling her. When he realizes that they are alone he gets out of the car and pulls a gun to her head. Luckily a man with a pipe stops the man and he drives off. She rushes home after this incident and helps Umar with his homework to help distracted her from what had just happened. When he asks her what the word freedom meant she insisted that he would ask his teacher about it. He got real silent and told her that he was scared to ask his teacher because of the huge stick he has. After she realized was that stick was used for she helped him to answer the question.

During the time that the lady was held at gunpoint the author made a vivid picture of what it was like. “She ignored him and continued on her way, but he kept following her, waving a wad of money at her and gradually increasing the amount.  When he noticed there were no pedestrians on the street, he hopped out of the car brandishing a revolver and grabbed her arm, attempting to force her into the car at gunpoint.  A callow youth of about twenty, he had curly hair and was clean shaven except for a slender mustache.  Powerfully built, with sturdy arms, he looked stupid and impetuous. Tha’ira, who wasn’t intimidated by his weapon, screamed for help and resisted him ferociously.” This example in the text painted a very clear picture to me. How she felt and the descriptive words that he used. After she had been through this stressful time the author change the way he had structured his sentences. ”  Her eyes blinked nonstop from emotion, but her tongue was paralyzed; so she didn’t offer even a word of thanks to him.  She felt all the more distraught when in the blink of an eye—after the would-be kidnapper had fled—she was surrounded by a drove of men, women, and children, all speaking at once.” The way these 2 sentences are structure helps to imagine the rush she is in to get home. 

I would say that the main idea to this story was what it’s like to live as women and child in Yemen. I know that other countries have their issues but after reading this story I wouldn’t like to live or visit Yemen. I now know that freedom in the US and freedom in Yemen are used it 2 completely different ways. When Tha’ira woke up from her nap and went downstairs to help Umar with his homework, it showed me how the education system is. His teacher had a stick to punish the children. It made it so the kids were scared to even ask questions in class. Overall I enjoyed learning about Yemen and how different and unique the country is.


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