Shame Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 65 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Shame.
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Shame

Shame, or rather the Arabic sharam, permeates this novel. The author intrudes on the narrative to explain that sharam holds an encyclopedia of nuance: embarrassment, discomfiture, decency, modesty, shyness, etc. The protagonist is introduced to the concept at age 12, as a narrow commandment not to feel shame. His mothers appear to be rebelling against their strict Islamic behavioral training. Omar is bewildered by the new concept and is told by his mothers, it makes you hot, it makes you cold; it makes women cry and die; it makes men go. As 30 years pass, sharam attends pregnancies, births, family tensions, political machinations, religious zealotry and deaths, until we again see Omar, a great physician but degenerate human being. Sharam has been expunged from his vocabulary. He treats professionally and falls in love with the novel's the second protagonist, Sufiya Zinobia, nicknamed by her mother "Shame." Pervasive sharam becomes incarnate...

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This section contains 966 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Shame Study Guide
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