Shafana and Aunt Sariah

Discuss how language can be used to affirm and/or challenge prevailing assumptions and beliefs about identity and culture.It is a multimodal task but we need to write an essay for it, i need it to have both challenging AND affirming prevailing assumptions.Assumptions include
  – Challenge assumptions that refugees are uneducated
    – Challenge assumptions that science and religion cannot go hand in hand
    – Aunt sarrinah was assumed to accept the hijab but this is challenged in the text

Affirmation of culture
    – Proverbs and sayings
    – Wearing a hijab as a way to affirm identity

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Shafana and Aunt Sariah
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    – Academics
    – Women
    – Afghan/Australian
    – Religion
    – Prioritise different parts of identity
    – Sarrinah
        ○ Australian academic
    – Shafana
        ○ Afghan Muslim

    – Muslim
    – Afghan
    – Australian
    – Academic/educated

Language includes
    – Foreign/native language
    – Slang
    – Figurative devices
    – Monologue/duologue/dialogue/soliloquies

Challenge assumptions
    – Educated
    – Science and religion
    – Rejection of religious symbols

Affirm assumptions
    – Proverbs and sayings
    – Hijab + fasting, etc.

Ways to structure your response
    – It says affirm and/or challenge which means give a balance and an equal number of discussion
    – At least 2 point where it affirms language and identity
    – 2 points where it challenges it
    – Synthesis
    – You don’t need to get to a point
    – You can say that they are both affirmed and challenged

    – “The cats witness s its tail”
        ○ Proverb (Persian saying) used to communicate the women’s Persian origins as well as how close they are to their culture and sayings.
    – “Quabili, Bolaanee and Sabzi”
        ○ Motif, food is a representation of how food can convey ones love for each other for more information see

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    – “When I was in Kabul I was the chief engineer on all gov buildings…”
        ○ Monologue is a representation of what sarrinah has gone through and experience especially before she came to Australia. She is repeating this to the audience.

    – “Shafana is in a laboratory”
        ○ Establishes the academic setting of the play stage direction
    – “If you’re a scientist you have to guard against false assumptions”
        ○ Inference and explains other props on stage
    – “In Kabul I am the chief engineer at the academy”
    – “You’re a highly qualified mechanical engineer”

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