Ice Candy Man

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This essay focuses on the impact of partition through Bapsi Sidhwa’s novel Ice Candy Man.

‘India is going to be broken. Can one break a country? And what happens if they break it where our house is? Or crack it further up on Warris Road? How will I ever get to Godmother's then?’ – Lenny.

Bapsi Sidhwa was born in 1938 in Karachi, Pakistan, to a Parsee family and grew up in Lahore. In 1947 India was partitioned, and Lahore became part of Pakistan. With her third novel, Ice Candy Man, Sidhwa established herself as Pakistan’s leading English language novelist. Pakistan is the location of Sidhwa’s first three novels, and in each there is a strong sense of place and community which she uses to examine the post-colonial Pakistani identity. The narrator of the novel, Lenny, is an eight-year-old girl who is handicapped by polio. She is a Parsee. She is cared by a beautiful young Ayah. Later, Ayah is taken away since she is a Hindu and this changes Lenny’s life. Lenny is established

so firmly as a truthful witness that the mounting unease in Lahore, the riots, fires and brutal massacres become real through the child's experience. The colossal disturbance of partition, when cities were allotted to India or Pakistan, and their frightened inhabitants were often savagely uprooted, runs like an earth tremor through this thoughtful novel.

This book ranges through a number of themes like caste and class prejudice, discrimination based on religion, experience of being handicapped, political violence, innocence of childhood and the inability to lie, etc. The setting of this novel is during the India- Pakistan partition. Lenny is hardly 8 years old when the great tragedy of the Partition happens. This novel is Lenny’s narrative and portrays the incidents through her perception.

The novel commences by informing the readers of the everyday life of Lenny. She very amusingly recounts the incidents of her childhood and the people around her with a good deal of...
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