Study Guide

Beneath a Marble Sky Duty

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Duty. It's no coincidence that it's a homonym for doodie, because sometimes it can be a real pain in the butt. It's also a major driving factor for Jahanara throughout Beneath a Marble Sky, leading to various issues like imprisonment, an extremely unhappy marriage, and extended separations from loved ones.

An overdeveloped sense of duty makes Ladli sign on for a life with the terrible Aurangzeb, and it motivates Nizam to do a number of difficult things in service to Jahanara's family. It certainly doesn't help that she keeps making deathbed promises to people. Come on, Jahanara, get some self-control?

Questions About Duty

  1. What are some of the drawbacks to Jahanara having a strong sense of duty? What about rewards?
  2. What does Jahanara's mother say about duty? How about her dad?
  3. Does Isa understand Jahanara's need to fulfill what she thinks is her duty? Does her daughter?
  4. Does Aurangzeb have a sense of duty toward Hindustan? What is it?

Chew on This

Sometimes duty is a wonderful plot device, but it wouldn't hold such strong sway in real life.

Some people feel more strongly than others about the importance of duty.

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