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Reader's Den: Discussion Questions for "Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon"

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Have you been enjoying Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon by Jorge Amado? Please join me in discussing this novel by considering some of the following questions, or posting your own questions, thoughts, or favorite excerpts.

The story begins with the shooting of Dona Sinházinha (the wife) and Dr. Osmundo (the lover) by Colonel Jesuino Mendonca (the husband), and with old Filomena leaving Nacib. These two elements set forth the motion of the entire story and set the main thematic element — out with old, in with the new.

  • How does the past and future mix on the streets of Ilhéus?
  • How does the author use gossip to drive the story?
  • What actions are sparked by the murder of the lovers?

The novel touches modernist themes both social and political, while painting a colorful cultural portrait of Brazil.

  • How are women’s rights addressed by the novel?
  • How does the theme of transportation draw attention to political changes?
  • What are some of the customs of the region that lend flavor to the novel?
  • Do you think the title, Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon, is appropriate for the novel?

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