What is the location where most of the story occurs?
Is there anything symbolic about that location?
Does the concept of “the glass ceiling” apply to the young narrator?
How do the concepts of Power, Class, and Status apply to the story?
What does the wealthy business say to our young narrator early on in the story that implies his intentions?
What traditional work are the narrator and her co-worker expected to do in the corporation?
What is the symbolism of the magpie, the loud, chirping bird?
Why is the story called, “Birdsong”?
Who in the story does not show respect for the young narrator?
Why is the young narrator angry at the woman in the jeep?
What is the importance of the sari in Indian culture and in this story?
When the story begins, where is Sumita and what is she doing?
What is unusual about the living arrangements of Sumita and her husband?
What is symbolic about the tee shirt, “Great American”?
Does Sumita’s husband want her to work in the 7/Eleven?
What happens to her husband one evening while he is at the 7/Eleven?
Explain the meaning of this phrase: “doves with clipped wings.”
What would happen to Sumita if she returns to India?
What is Sumita’s decision and how is it explained through clothing?
In his book, What’s So Great About America?, Dinesh D’ Souza argues that in the United States, people can write the script of their own lives as they define who and what they are. Apply this to the experience of Sumita.