Book Report Over Three Cups of Tea

            Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin’s Three Cups of Tea is a publication whose setting is the Afghanistan and Pakistan nations. The book gives a first-hand account of Mortenson’s journey to ascend the KarakoramMountains generally referred to as the K2 located in Pakistan as a tribute to his deceased sister, Christa. Third person narration is majorly used in the text, with Relin acting as the predominant narrator, although an omniscient perspective is also used to outline Mortenson’s opinions. As the story begins, the reader learns that Mortenson fails to complete his goals and during the descent with his team, he is lost only for him to resurface at the Korphe settlement. The natives are very kind to him and direct him to their leader, Haji Ali for further aid and Mortenson having identified the educational lack in the region pledges to erect learning facilities for the villagers. Upon his return to America, Mortenson approaches various institutions and individuals for monetary support before heading back to Korphe for his operation.

The publication offers a remarkable narrative tracing the successes and challenges that Mortenson encounters from his fellow Americans as evidenced by a cross-examination conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency and hate posts that increased drastically after the September 11 attacks. The Taliban in the Islamic nation also abhor Mortenson and issue various death threats, at one point kidnapping him. Mortenson however keeps his initiative and has been able to institute at least fifty schools in the region with the futuristic objective of expanding into Afghanistan. The main theme prevalent in the publication is that of empathy. The villagers prevail over the cultural divide between the American and Islamic conflict that has been a predominant issue in the hatred that has ensued between both groups and offered help to the lost individuals. In response to this, Mortenson perspectives towards Muslims is accorded deeper insight for him to comprehend their needs as fellow humans effected by the poverty within the region due to political instability and the warring regimes. Through this, he is able to offer alleviation to the suffering by founding the Central Asia Institute (CAI) group of schools.

Subsequent to the September 11 attacks, Mortenson defends his cause and belief in the people of Pakistan by holding the grounds that the reaction to the poor nature of the Pakistanis and only peaceful dialogues rather than war would act as the uniting factor. Secondary themes developed are the role of education in enhancing socioeconomic wellbeing in poor nations, and the power of a willful spirit as this aids the author into realizing his dreams despite the adversities faced. The mood maintained in the book oscillates between somberness and cheerfulness depending on the scenery. A direct tone is used to infuse a journalistic element in the book through the reported nature of the text. The conflict created in the book between the protagonist, Mortenson, and the various antagonists identified as individuals working towards ensuring that his dreams are not realized aid with plot development. The authors bring out the key conflict through the protagonist’s inhibitors in form of money and cultural factors in the realization of his vision. Rising action is noted from the beginning as the protagonist discovers his passion for the Pakistanis and the efforts he undergoes to make the vision a reality.

The climax is noted by the publication that wins peoples heart to his cause through monetary support. The stylistic device of symbolism is most prominent in the publication with the title being an imagery of the relationship that ensues between Mortenson and the Muslims; three cups in Pakistan represent family relations, two cups denote friendship and a single cup marks a guest. Tea on the other hand is a sign of trust and esteem. The tile therefore symbolizes the friendship created in the book. Relin being the narrator infuses an element of precision and balance that overcomes the weakness of personal biasness, which is evident in publications tendered by a single author. The book therefore was very enjoyable and insightful.

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