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The Bastard of Istanbul - Tasks


Look at the interactive tasks that you find on the head page.

Literary Analysis

  1. The title of Elif Shafak's novel is The Bastard of Istanbul. In the chapter you have just read, we are given some indications why the author has chosen this title. What kind of connotations does the word "bastard" raise? How does Asya's background highlight this title?
  2. There are several references and comparisons to Istanbul as a sea-going boat or vessel in the text. What does this metaphor imply about Istanbul and its character? How is Istanbul as a city transformed, and why? Pinpoint how this is important in the story.


  1. Armanoush maintains in her late online chat with her pals that there is no way Asya drinks alcohol since she is a Muslim.
    What do we call these kinds of presumptions? Are they right? Are such attitudes in any way useful? Where do we draw the line between prejudice and presumptions like these?
  2. History and the past - how does it affect your identity? The two girls have a different view upon the necessity of acknowledging history and the past as part of one's identity. Make a table with two columns, one column where you list Asya and her views and one column with Armanoush and her views. Whom do you agree with?
  3. The diaspora - people that voluntarily or involuntarily have left their mother country and settled in a new country - and their descendants - often have an impact on the policies, economy and development in the country they left. How has the Armenian diaspora been important do you think?


  1. Asya and her interests and attitudes are thoroughly described in the excerpt. These are contrasted with Armanoush and her values and background. Pick ONE of these characters and make her Facebook profile, what do you think they would reveal about themselves? Use the information given and list this in their individual profiles ( e.g. taste in music, literature, dress code, politics, status, family relations, ethnicity).The girls are 19, do you think their profiles differ a lot from any Norwegian girl?
  2. Read about the Armenian Genocide and make up a fictional Armenian character that lived in Istanbul in 1915. In a photo story outline one day in this character's life.
Sist oppdatert 14.05.2018
Skrevet av Eli M. Huseby


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