Discussion Questions for Group 10: JG, BJ, ET
1. “The divan where Diana had been sitting was strewn with magazines and papers, the imprint of her slender body still showed in the soft, heaped cushions, and a tiny, lace-edged handkerchief peeped out under one of them. He picked it up and looked at it curiously, and his forehead contracted slowly in the heavy black scowl. He turned his burning eyes toward the curtains that divided the rooms. Saint Hubert’s words rang in his ears. ‘English!’ he muttered with a terrible oath. ‘And I have made her suffer as I swore any of that damned race should if they fell into my hands. Merciful Allah! Why does it give me so little pleasure?’” (126).
This takes place right after Ahmed has his discussion with the Vicomte and has left in a bit of a huff concerning Saint Hubert’s opinions on what he has done to Diana. Do you think this is the moment where the Sheik starts to acknowledge his growing feeling for Diana? Also why do you think her being English has so much to do with his treatment of her?
2. “The proof of her obedience was a hard one, from which she shrank, but it was harder far to see the look of anger she had provoked on the face of the man she loved […]. She was at his feet, tamed thoroughly at last, all her proud, angry self-will swamped in the love that was consuming her with an intensity that was an agony.
“‘Well?’ His voice was hard and uncompromising, […].’
“She set her teeth to keep down the old paralyzing fear. ‘I will do what you want. I will do anything you want, only be kind to me, Ahmed’” (116-117).
This scene takes place just after Saint Hubert arrives and Diana has had a relapse of her old obstinacy because Ahmed treated her badly earlier in the day. How does the Sheik’s demands of obedience change Diana herself? Also, how does this affect her relationship with the Sheik?
Responding to question #2:
The first paragraph really is great depiction of how Diana wants to make him happy and when she sees a look of anger on her face she doesn’t like that she made the man that she loves mad. It has shown that Ahmed has been able to tame her, like his horses, just as he said he would in the beginning. The Sheik is very demanding of Diana, which she is not use to at all because she always been able to do as she pleases. The demands that are placed on Diana has really changed who she is as a person because she would only before do what pleased her, and now she is all about doing anything that is needed to please Ahmed. Also because she obeyed him, against her will in the beginning, she has now learned what it is like to actually have feeling and emotions. Without Ahmed (not that he did it in the right way) she would not know what it feels like to love or want someone. I think because this is her first time experiencing these emotions she is almost grateful toward the Sheik for allowing her to have these feelings which could intensify their ‘relationship’.
#2: The Sheik’s demands for obedience cause Diana to become a woman she never was and never thought she would be. She was always confident and selfish, not letting anybody else’s desires or wants influence her decisions. However, she has finally come to obey Ahmed. At first she tried to resist his orders, but she eventually gave in out of fear. At this point, however, she is obeying him out of fear but also out of love for him. She has realized that she cannot go through her day without thinking about him. Because she is so in love with him, she prioritizes his every wish above her own. The Sheik’s demands for obedience caused her to feel emotion, love, and also caused her to succumb to somebody else’s orders, just like her brother wished for. This changes her relationship with Ahmed because now she is a “tamed horse” and not as big of a challenge for Ahmed. We see that he doesn’t pay as much attention to her as he did in the beginning because he knows he has her in the palm of his hand. However, she still speaks up sometimes and because of this plus her feelings towards him, her relationship with him might actually have substance to it.