The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between - Your Health? Your Family? Summary & Analysis

Hisham Matar
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Summary

In this chapter, Matar returns to a group of family members chatting on Uncle Mahmoud's patio, where his attention is inexplicably drawn to an older man whose eyes seems equally fixed on Matar. The man gazes intently and compassionately at Matar while gripping his hand and repeating the courteous yet meaningless Libyan platitude, this chapter's namesake, "Are you well? Your health? Your family?" (64). Matar assumes the man knew his father and concludes that he "wanted nothing from [Matar's] existence except itself" (65). Once the man leaves, Uncle Mahmoud confirms this idea, informing him that the man was Muftah, Matar's father's cousin.

Analysis

Matar's father's cousin Muftah, though left anonymous until the final page of the chapter, had a deep impression on Matar during the brief interaction they shared; Matar senses his connection with the man immediately despite the man's silence. His eyes...

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This section contains 295 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between Study Guide
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