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Discussing ‘Mama Day’ by Syed M. Shahmir Zaidi

It was truly an unexpected yet a beautifully mysterious excerpt to read. In fact, while I was reding the first paragraph, I definitely had no clue of what was about to come and the fact that reading the excerpt just once, would not be of any use. Furthermore, as I was going through the write-up, some part of it sent me straight down memory lane to the time I watched, 12 Years a Slave. Though, these two pieces of art are quite different in their forms and meaning, however, the way Naylor described the introductory scene, setting and how chaotic situations were, it somehow made me reflect back on the movie where, an African American, was suffering at the hands of the ‘superior race’ and was completely blocked and smothered from society. This entire scenario, the hardships that he and others of the same skin color had to face enabled me to understand, what the writer was trying to portray with her story and characters, with far more conviction and visualization.

Moreover, in terms of the writing style, I was surprised but amazed to see how cleverly, the writer chose each and every word and how contrastingly developed sentences and paragraphs, which allowed the reader to remain in awe and keep thinking critically for the entire write-up. Whether it be, ’18 and 23’ the two numerical numbers which strangely kept me wondering about their meaning until the very end or the drastic shifts in time that the writer made, it allowed the writing to be even more enigmatic and puzzling, which is one of the reasons why, the audience usually read the excerpt twice or sometimes thrice, to fully comprehend the meaning behind it. Furthermore, the character which I thought had the best role was Reema’s boy, the character development of the boy was something that the writer should be praised for. The way Naylor orchestrated his relationships with others and how his role affected the entire community, and the fact that Naylor chose to remain ambiguous in terms of whether the boy had completely positive or negative effects on his community, created a suspense on its own. Apart from the mentioned above, It is significant to be known that I was able to read the write-up twice, and that is the major reason why, I was able to appreciate the varying writing style, understand the character developments and it was only the second time that I was finally able to adjust myself between the sudden time changes and grasp the meaning of the code words to which I was undoubtedly oblivious on my first attempt.

3 thoughts on “Discussing ‘Mama Day’ by Syed M. Shahmir Zaidi

  • You were very descriptive in portraying the writing style of the author of “Mama Day”. I also feel like Reema’s boy was a character that stood out because of the way that he would observe throughout the text and try to give meaning to many ideas.

  • I completely agree with you when you mentioned that the author kept us wondering what the meaning of 18 & 23 was. The author was able to maintain us as readers excited, and even included a section of comedy when Reema’s boy said that 18 & 23 was backwards. My attention was also caught by Reema’s boy because it seemed like his actions did affect the way the community saw him.

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