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role of Parsi community in Ice Candy Man

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Question: Demonstrate how the changing peceptions of the characters towards each other is a reflection of the instability surrounding them. Answer: Actions, behaviour, gesture, sickness: these are all indications of an unconscious and involuntary mode of existence common to all which, if nothing else, shows that one is alive. The novel, Ice-Candy Man is an emotional book about "dispassion" and "fairness" by a Parsi perspective. The novelist, Bapsi Sidhwa adopts a psychoanalytic approach towards her writing inorder to reveal the revulsion of partition of the sub-continent. Sidhwa states, "I don't have much faith in human nature." This statement justifies the instablity and chaos that the mindsets of the characters undergo during the partition, especiallythe Ice-Candy Man. The partition of the sub-continent is like the background music of the novel which channelizes the preference and emotions of people from all sects of the society. ...read more.


In a rage, he confesses to the Government House Gardener that the sight of the train containing dead Muslims has changed him and he is not reluctant in killing even his acquiantances. It is substantiated when he deceives his love Ayaah by abducting her and forcing her into prostitution. He is candid about his hatred and fanaticism for other communities. Thereby, we observe that the external event, i.e. the partiton internalizes and changes his perception which in turn externalizes in the form of violence and suspicion. As a result, he becomes averse to all who do not belong to his community. The conflict between the rational and the illogical is meticulously defined in his mental agony. Partition signifies the disintegration of individual selfhood and the development of a mass-consciousness or will, which disrupted individual self-development. ...read more.


Moreover, Aayah's perception towards the Pathan also goes through a vivid change as she acts calmly in his presence. The term, "Sikh" is used for Sher Singh because Sikhism is his religion and he would represent all Sikhs. Within a broad climate of inherited culture, there are endless variations: each individual differs from the other in outlook and day-to-day religious philosophy. Thus, one incident creates havoc among humanity and things eventually fall apart. It is through the character of Ice-Candy Man that the author effectively communicates the frenzy and madness that jolted the people during the time of partition. On the other hand, we also tend to learn that one must synchronize as he evolves. Otherwise, the negative percetions towards others can transform one into a beast. Indeed, the novel is a trustworthy guide to the heart and mind of human-beings. Reference: Grief and survival in Ice-Candy-Man: In conversation with Bapsi Sidhwa. (Conducted on 15 October 1997 in London, at the residence of a mutual friend) ...read more.

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