Discuss how Partition is seen as a traumatic experience in Ice Candy Man.  

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Sidhwa's work represents Partition as a traumatic experience on both national levels and individual ones.  Sidhwa makes it clear that the mere idea of partition was one constructed out of the theoretical, nothing even remotely near what was in reality.  Partition was seen as something that could be decided by politicians in far off and quiet rooms where political discourse lacked a mirror of reality.  The trauma of Partition was seen in its execution, something that Sidhwa brings out through Lenny.  The idea of religious intolerance being fueled by the fear of Partition helped to increase its traumatic hold on the nation.  Sidhwa shows how women were the immediate recipients of this trauma, either enduring the loss and death of their husbands, or by enduring the loss of their own virtue at the hands of rape and sexual violation.  The same way in which Sidhwa sees the nation violated by Partition, lines being marked and demarcated without any regard for individuals, she sees citizens of India, and in particular women, violated in much the same manner.  The same disfigurement that thus happens on a national level happens on a individualized one, bringing out the trauma of Partition on a real and substantive level.  It is in this where Sidhwa views Partition as something that is irrevocably traumatic for India and her people.

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