Writing Assignment:
First, post a short list of conflicts present in the story. Next, write a short text exploring Miriam’s identity conflict in more detail. Write a thoughtful and well-supported description of the conflict in which you clearly explain for your readers what characterizes Miriam’s Western self and what characterizes her Eastern self. Describe how these two identities interact and the resulting conflict in which Miriam finds herself. Include at least three quotes from the text to support your ideas. Be sure to include page numbers for each quote.

List of conflicts:
East/West conflict
Tradition/ modern lifestlyes
Relationship between men and women
Difference between generations
Role of women in the East/ West
Main conflict: Miriam's two "selves"

Miriam is a Muslim girl and lives in England. She doesn't object to Western life; it's part of her lifestyle. In the story, the combination of those two very different lifestyles (traditional and modern) lead to a conflict, because her future parents-in-law don't accept the Western lifestyle.
Because of the Western clothes she was wearing when she met her future parents-in-law, they cancel her engagement with their son. The father of her fiancée says that girls like Miriam aren't good wives for Muslim men, because they claim to be absolutely free in their opinions and decisions: "...Are you prepared for a daughter-in-law who goes in and out of the house whenever she feels like it, dressed like that and returns home as late as that?..."(P. 174, l. 17)
Miriam's Western self is first of all depicted by her modern clothing. She attends a British college and what's most important of all: she doesn't accept the strict traditions and laws of the Muslim religion. She thinks for herself and isn't judgmental.
Miriam takes her fate into her own hands. She loves Farook and it's their decision to marry or not. She tries to solve the problem and wants to talk to him. She thinks to herself: "...Farook and his parents weren't going to to get away with it!..." (p.181, l.11) It fits to her character because she is described as a self-confident young women.
It is characteristic of her Eastern self that she is willing to marry a Muslim man who was chosen by her and his parents; and also that she likes the wide, comfortable and traditional muslim clothes like the Sari, because she feels secure with them: "...She was now in full control of herself..." (p.170, l.16)

By Diana F. Mayerbuch in collaboration with Linda S.