Born too short book summary

His father, a German immigrant, married a woman whose name was Robinson, and his real name was Robinson Kreutznaer, but due to the natural corruption of languages, the family now writes their name "Crusoe.

Born too short book summary

Chapter 2 Themes and Colors Key LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Namesake, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. Ashima Ganguli, nearly nine months pregnant, is preparing a makeshift version of a popular Indian snack, for which she has an insatiable craving.

She uses onion, spices, Rice Krispies, and Planters peanuts, but cannot quite manage to recreate the taste she so misses. As she reaches for another onion, she begins to go into the very early stages of labor, and calls out for her husband, Ashoke, although according to her custom she does not use his first name.

Ashima is desperate to find something familiar to lean on in this unknown land. The strange mix of American ingredients approximates the taste she craves, but also emphasizes just how far away she is from her native culture.

Her call to Ashoke is the first sign of the kind of love that is present in their marriage, which is more traditional than the relationships their children will have.

It also brings up the importance of names in the novel. Her doctor informs them that the labor will take some time, and Ashoke leaves Ashima alone with the other women in the room. She wonders if she is the only Indian present in this hospital filled with American strangers, until a twitch from the baby inside her reminds her that she is not alone after all.

Ashima is now further isolated within the hospital, and the switch from sari to immodest hospital gown amplifies her discomfort. Lahiri also uses the interactions between openly affectionate American husbands and wives to provide a contrast with the restrained, but deeply loyal relationship shared by Ashoke and Ashima.

If she were there, this baby would be born in the home, not a hospital. She pictures what each member of her family is doing at this hour, immersing herself in the memory of her house until a view of the Charles River outside jolts her back to her reality in America.


Lahiri uses the watch to remind the reader of the immense physical distance that separates the recently immigrated Ashima from her home in India, as she also reflects on the cultural distance dividing herself from the Americans around her. She finds comfort in the memory of home, even as she feels alienated by her present.

Active Themes Throughout the day in the hospital, Ashima is reassured by Dr. Ashley and her nurse, Patty, that everything is expected to be normal. But to Ashima, nothing feels normal about raising a child in a strange country, without her family. She rereads a Bengali magazine containing an illustration by her father, and then drifts into her memories of him.

She is then interrupted by Patty, who accompanies her on a brief walk. The kind and professional hospital staff cannot bridge the gap that divides them from Ashima.

As she has for the past several months in her isolation at home, Ashima finds comfort in the physical remnants of her past life in India. The mistake that Ashima makes in translating an idiom from her native Bengali into English heightens her sense of embarrassment and loneliness.

Drifting back, again, to her memories of Calcutta, Ashima recalls the first time she met her husband Ashoke. The meeting had been arranged by their families, and as she stood outside the room listening to her parents sing her praises, Ashima gave in to a strange urge to slip her feet into the shoes that the visiting Ashoke had removed in the entryway, as per Bengali tradition—exotic, leather specimens from the U.

Later, in the room with Ashoke and their two families, she is asked whether she can imagine living in snowy Boston, alone. Active Themes Related Quotes with Explanations Ashima continues to reminisce, recalling her elaborate wedding preparations with joy and describing her new life in America with Ashoke.

She has learned about his special fondness for potatoes, his careful approach to clothing, and his loyalty to his family back in India, to whom he sends a portion of his paycheck. In the evenings, when he returns from work, Ashima tells him about her daily adventures in the strange world of Cambridge, Massachusetts, with its unblemished rice and pistachio ice cream.

Born too short book summary

As she learns more about him, their intimacy deepens. His support for his family endears him to her, and he becomes her trusted companion in the strange adventure of living in America. He wipes his glasses with the handkerchief embroidered by his mother and begins pacing nervously with the other expectant fathers.

Although they all have cigars or champagne to celebrate the announcement, Ashoke is empty-handed. The small detail of his handkerchief is a reminder of the families back in India that are always present in some way for both Ashoke and Ashima.

His distance from the traditions of the other fathers — with their champagne, cigars, and flowers — again emphasizes the cultural divide. Active Themes Ashoke continues to read the paper as he walks, limping slightly.

This habit is carried on from his childhood, when he read voraciously everywhere he went, immune to distractions. He especially enjoyed Russian authors, which his grandfather read aloud to him in English translations as a boy.

One day, when Ashoke was 22, he set out on a train journey to visit his grandfather, who, now blind, had requested that Ashoke read to him.

He promised that Ashoke could take his collection of antique books home with him afterward—a treasure Ashoke had long desired. The slight limp in his walk is a hint of what is to come, foreshadowing the tragic events related in the coming pages.

The Namesake

Another passenger in his coach, Ghosh, strikes up a conversation. He has just returned from Britain after two years because his wife was too homesick for India, and urges Ashoke to travel while he is still young and free.Teenage angst may be no laughing matter, but readers will find it hard not to giggle over the misadventures of Elish's (The Worldwide Dessert Contest) 5'1½" eighth-grade narrator, Matt Greene.

Teenage angst may be no laughing matter, but readers will find it hard not to giggle over the misadventures of Elish's (The Worldwide Dessert Contest) 5'1½" eighth-grade narrator, Matt Greene. The curiosity for exotic places that eventually led to Ashoke’s immigration to America was born within the pages of these foreign books, books which also taught him English.

Ashoke’s journey is typical of the traditional Bengali respect for family. Summary Born Too Short is a novel about two boys, Keith Livingston and Matt Greene.

Born too short book summary

Keith is the most popular guy in school in the novel, he has great looks,participates in almost every activity, has had tons of girl friends and has even written a successful play. Summary Note: summary text provided by external source. Matt Greene is 5'1", a nerd, invisible to girls, and has a best friend who's the biggest stud at Hannaford School in New York City.

Babes practically trip over Matt to get to Keith, a guy so studly his smile is featured in a toothpaste ad. Sure, sometimes Matt gets a little jealous.

The Hunger Games begins on the day of the reaping in District Katniss Everdeen, the story's year-old narrator, sets out to meet her friend Gale so they can do some hunting and gathering before the reaping that afternoon.

As Katniss makes her way from her home to the Meadow and, finally, to.

Born Too Short by Dan Elish | Scholastic