Study Guide

Beneath a Marble Sky Time

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Ugh, time. There's never enough of it, it goes by either too quickly or too slowly, and it's always slipping away from us. It's troublesome, this concept of time, and Jahanara is all too aware of it, whether she's regretting time spent away from her loved ones or reflecting on all that has passed in her eventful life. Beneath a Marble Sky is, after all, the story of that life, so it'd be pretty hard to avoid thinking about time and the effects it has on all of us. Milestones, aging, death, memory—it's all here.

Questions About Time

  1. What are some of the different ways Shors depicts time passing? Are some methods more effective than others?
  2. How would this story be different if it had been written as it happened, instead of having Jahanara retell the story to her granddaughters?
  3. If time could be categorized as an inherently good thing or bad thing, which would Jahanara think it was?

Chew on This

Jahanara sees time as the enemy: she's always combating its effects and its inevitable passage.

Time is inevitable, therefore there's no sense trying to fight it. Jahanara is resigned to its whims.

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