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“The Pearl That Broke Its Shell” Novel by Nadia Hashimi Essay

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Updated: Sep 28th, 2020

“The pearl that broke its shell” is a novel that presents the situation of women in Afghanistan. The author uses a family of three girls to present how the culture of Afghanistan views women in the society. The story focuses on the family principles where parents who do not have a male child endure a lot of difficulty in the society. More specifically, the author uses two women, Rahima and Shekiba, who lived in different times, but went through the same sufferings as women (Hashimi, Shekiba 17).

The two accounts present the general situation of gender discrimination in Afghanistan. The author blends in different themes and situations in the story to bring out a clear understanding of the culture of the Afghanistan people. The two main characters in the story give the reader an ideal comparison between the traditional and modern life in Afghanistan. Consequently, the novel presents the general impacts of the traditions on the entire family. The father in the story became a drug addict for lack of a son (Hashimi, Rahima 9).

The situation is an indication that regardless of the modernity, people are still slaves to the traditional practices of the land. The author’s arrangement of the ideas brings out the intended purpose of the book to the readers.

The theme of modernity versus traditionalism is quite evident in the paper. The author uses the theme of modernism versus traditionalism and the cultural frame to show the reader that traditionalism or modernism is a state of mind. The society still practices the bocha posh tradition that Shekiba used decades ago. The nine-year-old girl uses the same tactic as her great grandmother to achieve independence and peace within the society.

The similarity of events and the challenges that women in the Afghanistan community face makes it clear that modernism intertwines with traditionalism (Hashimi, Shekiba 71). The theme of modernity and traditionalism gives the reader a better understanding of the Afghanistan culture. The idea that people in this community still view the girl child as a burden is devastating. The comparison between the two lifestyles helps convince the reader of the realities of gender inequality around the world.

In Rahima’s story, the author uses the incidence in Afghanistan to show the reader than modernism is more than just living in a modern society (Hashimi, Shekiba 77). Many things undergo transformation in a society, but abandoning traditions is a rather difficult task for many societies. Rather than embracing modernism, people upgrade their traditional practices to fit their current situations. Lack of detachment is one of the factors that make it hard to have a clear demarcation between traditionalism and modernism (Hashimi, Rahima 30). The plot, themes, and the cultural frame of the paper support the known claim of difficulty in embracing modernity in some communities.

People are not ready to let go of their traditional practices because the tradition gives them identity. The family chooses to refer Rahima to the former experiences of her ancestor rather than looking for solutions in the modern world (Hashimi, Shekiba 22). The past provides comfort and confidence in people. Modernity is a new thing to Rahima and her family, and although modernity could have offered a better solution, they chose to embrace the traditional practice. Lastly, naiveté makes it hard for people to create a difference between modernity and traditionalism in the society. The same principle is evident in Rahima’s story.

Works Cited

Hashimi, Nadia. “Rahima.” The pearl that broke its shell. Ed. Macomber Debbie. New York: William Morrow, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2014. 1-12. Print.

Hashimi, Nadia. “Shekiba.” The pearl that broke its shell. Ed. Macomber Debbie. New York: William Morrow, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2014. 13-24. Print.

Hashimi, Nadia. “Rahima.” The pearl that broke its shell. Ed. Macomber Debbie. New York: William Morrow, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2014. 25-33. Print.

Hashimi, Nadia. “Shekiba.” The pearl that broke its shell. New York: Macomber Debbie. William Morrow, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2014. 76-80. Print.

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""The Pearl That Broke Its Shell" Novel by Nadia Hashimi." IvyPanda, 28 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-pearl-that-broke-its-shell-novel-by-nadia-hashimi/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) '"The Pearl That Broke Its Shell" Novel by Nadia Hashimi'. 28 September.

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