Beneath a Marble Sky: A Novel of the Taj Mahal Topics for Discussion

John Shors
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Jahanara spends some time in the beginning of the novel describing her mother Arjumand's legendary physical beauty and comparing her own looks to that of her mother. Does Jahanara's resemblance to her mother help her or harm her in the course of the story? Do people who are considered beautiful by others have advantages in life that others do not have? Can beauty ever be a disadvantage?

Jahanara's brothers Dara and Aurangzeb embody opposite temperaments and interests in their characters. Where Aurangzeb is vicious, warlike, and vengeful, his brother Dara is philosophical, peace loving, and diplomatic, but all these qualities can be necessary in a ruler, particularly an emperor. Is it possible to find all of these qualities in one person? Are there any characters in the novel who show a blend of these opposite characteristics?

Jahanara grows up in a harem surrounded by...

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This section contains 395 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Beneath a Marble Sky: A Novel of the Taj Mahal Study Guide
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