Swimming Lessons Discussion Questions

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The Parsis of Bombay that Mistry depicts in his fiction are remnants of the Zoroastrians who came to India from Persia [now called Iran] after the Muslim conquest of that country in the seventh century. Look up the three volume History of Zoroastrianism edited by Mary A. Boyce and others (1991) and find out some of the basic tenets of this religion.

Bombay is the home of one of the most successful steel business families in India, the Tatas. Find out about this famous Parsi industrial family that the narrator's father in "Swimming Lessons" mentions with such obvious pride.

Sociologist Werner Sollers' 1986 book Beyond Ethnicity discusses the tension in the life of immigrants to America (or a big Canadian city like Toronto) regarding "melting," or assimilating the new culture, versus remaining "unmeltable," maintaining native habits and customs. Consider the narrator of "Swimming Lessons" as an immigrant struggling...

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This section contains 205 words
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Short Stories for Students
Swimming Lessons from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.