Ishwari’s Children by Shabnam Nadiya. The Literary Analysis Essay Example

The short story The Ishwari’s Children was about the experiences of the author, Shabnam Nadiya exploring the cultural and social practices of a rural Bangladeshi village. In the short story, she describes the journey of the protagonist. The protagonist is a 6-year-old boy, who journeys with his grandfather to visit a group of isolated, vulnerable people. In the story, she used a large variety of literary theories and literary lens. The literary theories and literary lenses that will be mentioned here were the most prevalent in the short story. The main points to be discussed in much further detail in this piece of literature are the gender criticism lens, archetypal criticism lens, marxism and reader response lens. While, the literary theories and literary lenses in the short story that read, the Ishwari’s Children by Shabnam Nadiya because of the gender criticism lens, archetypal criticism lens, marxism and reader response lens.

The gender criticism lens in the short story. Gender criticism lens is about the different views and perceptions that males and females have when doing anything. The gender criticism lens is also about the portrayal of men and women. In this short story, the portrayal/difference between men and women was evident. So the gender criticism lens was shown. First of all the short story takes place in a third world country. Where men and women are treated very differently. My first example from the short story is when. The author said, “Abdul Chacha and Alam Chacha were the most trusted of all the men who worked for him”. Which is a sign that the author is trying to portray. that in the country that they think of men as being the superior race. Another example of gender criticism lens in the short story is the fact that she explored the Journey of two males instead of females. Which was found to be very interesting. After seeing all the examples of gender criticism lens throughout the short story it is evident that it was used.

Archetypal literary criticism is a type of critical theory that interprets a text by focusing on recurring myths and archetypes in the narrative, symbols, images, and character types in the literary piece. Archetypal criticism lens was used a lot in the short story Ishwari's Children. An example of archetypal criticism was when they said. “Whenever we were visiting, I would always accompany Dadajan on his business errands.” This is archetypal criticism because they are stereotyping the normal roles of characters. In a short story by saying that Dadajan is accompanying the person like a sidekick which is a normal character in short stories. Which is like Batman and Robin. Or for a different more real-life sports example is, if you want to relate to basketball. A hero and Sidekick are like a star player on a team and the second-best player Anthony Davis and LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers. A different basketball comparison would be like Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the Los Angeles Clippers. This ties back to the story because like in basketball. the main character has someone coming with them to help. After seeing the examples of archetypal literary criticism lens throughout the short story it is evident that it was used.

Now about marxism in the short story Ishwari's Children by Shabnam Nadiya. Marxism is about struggling with important things like “The Culture”, Race, Class and Power struggles. The proof of Shabnam Nadiya using marxism was evident throughout the short story. Especially, when the author Shabnam Nadiya said, “We are all Ishwari’s children”. The author Shabnam Nadiya is making the point that everyone is a poor ishwari child. Also, the author is trying to show the struggles with Culture, Race, Class and Power. That they are dealing with. Another example of marxism was when the author Shabnam Nadiya said: “He accompanied my grandfather everywhere, a black umbrella and a cloth bag containing necessities hung from his shoulder”. This shows marxism because it describes his struggles with Class and Power. This is due to their financial situation and inequality in India. This is because when said that “black umbrella and a cloth bag containing necessities”. In the quote, they are referring to a homeless or hoe bow-man because that is normally/stereotypically, How a homeless or a hoe-bow is typically described to look like. That proves marxism with the divided income classes. After seeing the evidence displayed about the use of Marxism used in the short story, it is evident that Marxism was used throughout the story. 

The reader response lens focuses on what assumptions and expectations the readers bring to the work while reading. The reader responds is also about what we see while reading the story. While I was reading the short story, the Ishwari children’s short story. I mostly have feelings of empathy, sympathy and love towards the Ishwari people because I felt bad for them.  I also imagined, what if we in Canada switch places with the people in India and Bangladesh? Would we be able to survive or would we suffer or would we possibly even thrive in a situation? How much different would our lives be? I was also thinking about times that I've experienced or seen in my life situations, like, what was going on in the Indian subcontinent in the short story. Interpret this short story as, the Indian subcontinent(Pakistan, India and Bangladesh)  giving us a call for help see. To save them by giving them a lifeline from their immense extreme poverty, as it was shown in the short story.  That's a look into my brain at some of the stuff that I was thinking about while reading.  

In conclusion, the points that were mentioned in this essay go back to the point that there were tons of literary lenses used in Ishwari’s Children’s short story. The evident lens that was mentioned in and throughout this essay. First was the gender criticism lens. Then was the archetypal criticism lens. Then was marxism. Lastly reader response lens. I hope you understand. Why I believe that there is a gender criticism lens, archetypal criticism lens, Marxism and reader response lens in the story. I hope that this essay makes you want to read the short story, the Ishwari’s Children by Shabnam Nadiya. 


Nadiya, Shabnam. “Ishwari’s Children .” Shabnam Nadiya / Ishwari's Children,