University of Management & Technology
Department of Applied linguistics
Mphill in Applied Linguistics
THE ICE CANDY MANPresented by: Roll no. 100884006
Characters and characterization
Themes: major and minor
The Author: Bapsi Sidhwa
Born on August 11th, 1938 in Karachi.
Belongs to the Parsi community, Zoroaserian, a distinctive minority who left Iran for South Asia to avoid the religious persecution.
A polio victim at the age of 2, that is why she was educated at home till the age of 15 by an Anglo-Indian lady
She was married at the age of 19 with a Bombay businessman but got divorce.
Later she got married to a businessman of Lahore.
Afterwards she graduated from Kinnaird College, Lahore.
The Author: credentials
An active social worker with great concern for the women around
Part of women’s delegation to Iran and Turkey in 1970
Volunteer for many social work organizations
Sidhwa started writing in the 1970s when she was inspired by the story of a young girl who ran away from home and was killed by her husband in the Hindukush mountains. This story was published in the form of her 2nd novel: the Bride.
Currently she is teaching at the University of Texas, Houston.
The Author: publications
Some of the notable novels of Sidhwa are:
The Crow Eaters(1978)
story about the life and fortunes of Parsi junglewalla family in British India.
The Pakistani Bride (1983)
the story of a Pakistani girl adopted by a pathan during partition
The Ice Candy Man(1988)
story about the change in the lives of the ordinary people before and after the partition.
An American Brat (1993)
the story about the conflicts of value systems and cultures on personal and social plane
Numerous awards have been conferred upon her, these include:
The PatrasBokhari award for the Bride in 1985
The Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 1991
The German Literaturepreisaward for Cracking India
A Bunting Fellowship from Harvard
Her most famous novel Ice Candy Man has been turned into a film called ‘Earth 1947’
The Ice Candy Man
This is the first novel by a woman novelist from Pakistan in which she describes about the fate of people in Lahore and entrancing partition of India through the eyes of a precocious 8 years handicapped Parsi girl.
THE TITLEOriginal cover Published in 1988
3rd novel of Bapsi Sidhwa
Named after a character who is a Muslim street vendor.
Character-oriented title ___ metonymic title
Retained for only Indian editions
Title changed in 1991
Publishers feared that an American audience might mistake the unfamiliar name for a drug pusher.
So the title was changed by Sidhwa’s American publishers Milkweed Editions,1991
The new title rendered dominant theme and collective political reality of the Indian sub-continent.
Lenny is an eight year old Parsi girl who leads a comfortable life with the four members of her family before the Partition of India in Lahore. Lenny regularly goes for walks with her Hindu Ayah Shanta.
Sidhwa introduces the readers to characters like Shanta the Ayah, Imamdin the cook, the Ice-Candy-Man Dilnawaz and Hassan Ali, his cousin brother.
At the moment, people in undivided India are seen engaged in the Quit-India Movement, and on the other hand, the Muslim League motivates the Muslim Community to raise a demand for a separate nation for the Muslims. Often the slogans of 'Pakistan Zindabad' are heard in the streets but the communal harmony is intact.
One day, riots break out in Lahore in a locality far away from Lenny's house. This leads to the killing of innocent people on both the sides.
The news of bloodshed spreads like wild fire. The All India Radio also reports about cases of violence from different parts of India. Soon the entire Punjab province is seen burning in the fire of hatred and communal violence.
Dilnawaz, the Ice-Candy-Man waits for his sisters on Lahore railway station. When the trian arrives from Gurdaspur, everyone on the plateform is shocked to see the ghastly sight.
The Train is loaded with mutilated bodies of Muslim passengers. This shocks everyone and the friendly Dilnawaz turns into a person possessed with a frenzy and a desire to kill the Hindus.
He also abducts his friend Shanta, the Ayah of Lenny and later takes her to low market of Lahore, a locality of bad women. Ice-Candy-Man loved Shanta from the core of his heart but now she is a Hindu for him. Vengeance has transformed him into a killer and a beast.
Later with the belp of Lenny's relatives, Shanta is rescued and she reaches the relief camp at Amritsar. The ice candy man also follows her there.
Lenny, the narrator
Shanta, her Hindu Ayah
Dilnawaz, the Ice Candy Man, A Muslim
Godmother, the grandmother of Lenny
Imamdin, the cook
Hassan Ali, his cousin brother
Papoo, the daughter of Mucho, the sweeperes
Ranna, the friend of Lenny
Admirer’s of Ayah
Hari, the high-caste Hindu
Moti, the out-caste Gardner
Masseur, beloved of ayah
Ice candy man
Characterization in Ice Candy Man is perfect with astute insight into human behavior and human nature.
Most of the characters are round characters.
Reality based character who show their aspirations, emotions, moods, frustrations and nonetheless their attitude to life influenced by social and personal turmoil.
Lenny: the narrator
the child-narrator Lenny is introduced through the verses of Iqbal from his 'Complaint to God'
Lenny lives on Warris Road. And she is lame, introvert and helpless.
Her narration starts in her 5th year and ends after her 8th birthday.
It is to note that Bapse was 9 years old at the time of the Partition of India (1947) and at the age of 2 she encountered polio which affected her throughout his life
Lenny is like the persona, voicing the urge of the author, that CHAUCER has adopted in his Prologue to Canterbury Tales.
This persona acts being the part of the reader’s consciousness.
Lenny as an observer and commenter
Lenny sees change and partition as ‘ blood dimmed anarchy’
‘the whole world is burning. The air on my face is so hot…I start screaming: hysterically sobbing. How long does Lahore burn? Weeks? Months?
‘The moonlight settles like a layer of ashes over Lahore’.
“Can the soul be extracted from the body?” commented on Ayah’s vacant eyes.
One man’s religion is another man’s poison
“India is going to be broken. Can one break a country?”
THE ICE CANDY MAN, Dilnawaz
The story of the novel revolves around this central character. He belongs to bad market of Lahore,. His mother had been one of them and his early years shaped his personality according to his tastes.
He is a jolly and friendly person. He is a gifted poet, rather poetic in his interaction with others. He would recite a couplet from Urdu poetry whenever required.
He is an ardent lover of the Hindu Ayah of Lenny. He is a regular visitor of Lenny's house for Ayah's sake.
In summers, he sells ice-candy and in winters, he becomes a birds-man who sells sparrows and birds.
The first half of the novel presents the Ice-Candy-Man as a jovial and life-loving person. He is known for his warmth and good-nature but one incident transforms the peace-loving ice-candy man into a selfish man and a savage.
The Ice Candy Man
a keen popsicle vendor
a pretentious Sufi, with copper wiring wound around his neck and chest, who claims he is Allah’s telephone
the fanatic leader of a mob, who deceivingly betrays his love
a poet, reciting Urdu verses to woo the Ayah
A social worker having al latest news and info about everyone
Influential lady who helps everyone
Accounts for Bapsi’s own social persona as a social worker.
Helps Ayah in the same way as Bapsi once helped a girl in real
Symbolizes the feministic supremacy and strong influential status of women in British Indian society.
Sidhwa presented her as a fascinating personality with a one-and-a-half-room adobe, covered from head to toe in khaddar attire, a shelter for Lenny and many others
Possess a penchant for Sharp wit
Precocious Parsi girl__ Lenny 8 years old with a handicapped foot
Purpose was to provide a scope for objectivity, un-biasness and to avoid an air of propaganda
Bapsi wanted to show the narration free of ethnic and religious bias. So she adopts a child’s truth-infected tongue which also creates space for idyllic romances.
She takes in account her own limp in leg caused by polio and uses it as an armor against the pretentious world through the voice of Lenny.
Sidhwa's novels themes diverge from traditional to contemporaneity.
It is a story about love lost, trust deceived and the subjugation of the mind by deliberately subjugating the body. It is also a story about manipulation, redemption, and shrugging off passivity and rising to help those who most need it.
The story traces the communal discord that occurred at the time of Independence. It highlights that external events can unleash animalistic characteristics in humans, so much so, that they are blinded by prejudice and selfishness and use religion to justify their beastly actions.
Major & Minor Themes
Theme of Partition
Theme of dislocation and disintegration
Dilemma of the Parsi community
Theme of Feminism–women as victims & as saviors
Constancy of desire & its lack of moral legitimacy
The eternal conflict of moral good & evil in the human psyche
Theme of Communal discord
Chaos and confusion
Theme of Partition
The novel looks at Partition as a means of spreading disharmony which resulted in frenzy and chaos.
The psychological effects of the Partition on the lives of people is also shown in great detail in this novel. e.g. Lenny tears her doll in two halves after actually witnessing a similar event, the wails of the fallen women
Sidhwa shows human loss in Partition: “ wave upon wave of Muslim refugees flood Lahore– and the Punjab west of Lahore. Within 3 months 7 million Muslims & 5 million Hindus & Sikhs are uprooted in the most terrible exchange of population known to history. Punjab has been divided’.
Dislocation and disruption are very important themes of this novel
We see people weighing the options of staying or migrating. The question of migration loomed large in almost everyone’s head.
We see the people of PirPindo negating the idea of going by saying: “Where can the Muslim villagers go?... How can they abandon their ancestor’s graves, every inch of land they own, their other kin? How will they ever hold up their heads again? Where will they go? No, he says, they cannot throw the Mussulmans out”
In the novel the disintegration of Ayah’s circle symbolizes the disintegration and degeneration of society and the disintegration of society signifies the deterioration of the characters/ people themselves.
Members of the Ayah’s circle represent the different religions of the Subcontinent.
As the novel progressed, the people who thronged Queen’s park became aware of their religious identity and only sat with people of their own religion. It is only Ayah’s circle that remains intact even when the political rumblings reached Lahore. However, even Ayah’s allure and sensuousness cannot keep the circle intact. In fact, the friends she trusted become her assaulters in the end. This also shows the deterioration of the characters.
The novel has a feminine perspective. The female protagonists are the moral centers, while most of the male characters either remain apathetic or indulge in destructive violence.
Women are shown as being oppressed and used as a commodity. They are the ones who have to bear the burden of the wrong doings done by the men. Revenge is taken by violating the rights of women. (element of Universality)
The Ayah is a flame of sensuousness and female vitality.
The relationship of Lenny with the cousin upholds the principle of equality.
Godmother towers as a vibrant figure. She is a source of strength and comfort for the needy e.g. after Lenny’s operation, & her role in saving Ayah
Lenny’s mother starts the healing process by shrugging off her passivity
The fallen women are the victims and Lenny’s female relatives are saviors.
We see women as sacrificing their lives for the honor of their families.
The fight of police commissioner at dinner table on trivial foreshadows the communal riots between the Hindus and Muslims.
Queen Victoria's statue in the park impose the English Raj in the park.
The leaving of The Ice Candy Man to Amritsar, is not only an example of self-sacrifice but also symbolic of a future rapprochement between the two warring communities—the Muslims and Hindus.
‘In Ice-Candy-Man, I was just redressing, in a small way, a very grievous wrong that has been done to Jinnah and Pakistanis by many Indian and British writers. They have dehumanized him, made him a symbol of the sort of person who brought about the partition of India.’ Sidhwa, an interview with David Montenegro
Throughout, the novel sustains the vitality of Lenny's world with a series of wonderfully comic scenes. Highly recommended for all libraries.“ J. Sudrann in Library Journal
Sidhwa's triumph lies in creating characters so rich in hilarious and accurate detail, so alive and active, that long after one has closed the book, they continue to perform their extraordinary and wonderful feats before our eyes." Anita Desai in Dawn
"no other novel catches as this one does India's centuries-old ways of living with religious difference before Partition.“observer
The novel written in the present tense, deals with these events from a domestic standpoint, creating a realistic picture with a strong element of universality.
The harrowing event of the Partition brought dislocation, disintegration, chaos with itself.
Central to the novel are the themes of migration, manipulation, feminism, and submitting your soul to external events.