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Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Summer of the Beautiful White Horse
Author: William Saroyan
Discusses Armenian - American life in his
plays and other works.
Armenian origin, American author and dramatist
of the twentieth century
Married Carol Lucas with whom he had two
children - Aram and Lucy.
The loneliness and poverty faced by expatriate
communities living miles away from their homeland.
The concepts of honour and theft by Aram,
Mourad, the tribe and John Byro
The lure of a desire in the face of poverty
and binds of tradition.
Traditions and free spirit: the conflict and
the triumph of one.
Rising above personal desire to take a mature
The impact the story has due to a child
The relationship between the two brothers.
Sensitivity to the environment.
The concept of insanity.
The ten year old cousin of
Mourad who had always been conscientious of his tribe's reputation for
integrity. Fascinated with horses since he wsas a child, he knew in his
heart that Mourad had stolen the horse but justified the action by claiming
that it wasn't stealing unless Mourad sold the horse for monetary gain. Was
jealous of the bond Mourad shared with the horse and hoped to have the same
connect with the horse someday. Found a way to keep the horse even when he
found out that John Byro was the owner. Since we see the story unfold from a
child's perspective, an innocence, an honesty and unbiased quality is added to
Considered crazy and a
direct descendent of Uncle Khosrove, Mourad seemed to have a special
"way" with animals and even with people. He could make them feel calm
and safe. He looked after the horse in such a manner that John Byro found it
better tempered and healthy on its return. Mourad too seems fascinated with horses
and isn't beyond bending the rules to get what he wants. Perhaps he chooses not
to tell Aram that he stole the horse to save Aram from trouble too. Mourad is a
free spirited child of nature who enjoys "being alive". He does
have a conscience and hence, chooses to return the horse when reminded of his
family's honourable reputation.
Uncle Khosrove -
According to Aram, Uncle
Khosrove, the huge man with a large mustache and a volatile temper, seems
similar to Mourad in spirit. Having left Armenia perforce, Khosrove feels as if
his true home and a part of his identity have been stripped away. This leads to
a lack of belonging to the new land of Central Valley, California, where the
Armenians have settled and a sense of frustrated anger. Thus, he is commonly
observed to roar, "It is no matter. Pay no attention to it." Nothing
is quite as important to him anymore and nothing quite as tragic or urgent.
The horse -
In the American culture,
the white horse is quite significant. It is a symbol of purity and courage. The
mythical unicorns, the courageous 'Silver' of the Lone Ranger and even the
majestic king of horses, Shadowfax, from the Lord of the Rings were represented
as white horses. Here, in our story, the horse becomes a symbol of the
innocence of the boys as well as their uncaptivated spirits. On one hand, it
establishes Mourad as the gifted child who can connect with animals and on the
other, proves that Mourad had had the horse for quite some time before he
brought it to Aram.
you think John Byro recognised his horse? Why did he not accuse the boys of
stealing his horse?
Q.2. “We had
been famous for our honesty for something like eleven centuries”,the narrator
describes his family in these words.Do you think Mourad and Aram were honest
too?Give examples to prove your point.
The narrator mentions “a crazy streak” running in his family. Which two characters
show this streak in their behaviour and words? Write briefly about them
showing how they can be called crazy.
Q.4. What was
the Garoghlanian tribe known for over the centuries? What kind of people were
was Aram frightened and delighted at the same time when he saw his cousin
Mourad on a beautiful white horse?
Q.6. How did
little Aram define stealing when he had to decide whether or not to ride the
What were the pecularities in uncle Khosrove’s behaviour?
Q.8. How can
we say that both Aram and Mourad were very fond of riding?
Q.9. What did
John Byro say to the boys when he found them walking with it one morning?
Mourad’s parting from the beautiful white horse.