Adults have an immense array of memories, beliefs, thoughts, values, etc. most of which developed from their surroundings as a child. Parent’s beliefs and political ideologies are passed to their children unknowingly through the dinner table or their actions and expressions. In India, just as it had gained its independence a fear of a Partition arrived. Bapsi Sidhwa, though the novel Cracking India, and Deepa Mehta, though he film Earth, both capture a child’s, Lenny, perspective of the events leading to the Partition. Lenny is an eight year old Parse who first handedly witnessed her own house takers and neighbors turn against each other in Lahore which she watched from the outside as a Parse, and observer. Her narration brought up many advantages and disadvantages in the book, but her courage was commendable.
Through a child’s eyes, the reader see’s the events through a clear perspective not one colored by bias and prejudices the others have. Children are somewhat a source of truth; they don’t have any preexisting biasness an adult would have. They’re witnessing the world for the first time. Just like in the movie when Lenny wanted to ask the ice-candy man if his sister was part of the brutal massacre on the train, children don’t know what is socially right or wrong, good or bad. Children gather their first set of beliefs, prejudices, and biasness from their surroundings. Lenny, unfortunately, had to witness firsthand the atrocities of the hatred between the Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs.
Another advantage of a child narrator is the importance of the narrator’s innocence. As young as Lenny is, the reader takes into account how she is witnessing violence for the first time. She doesn’t quite understand the consequences of these acts of violence and acts them out at home to see what happens. As the reader, you feel sorrow for her ignorance and confusion. The highlight of Lenny’s innocence brings out the injustice each group shares. With all the moving and revenge each side has, the cruelty of the Partition is magnified to the reader.
As one of the non-competing groups in Lahore, Lenny has a third-person perspective of the Partition. Because she was Parse, Lenny and her family were left alone and unharmed as the Parse’s took a neutral stance in the Partition. While the Sikhs attacked the Muslims who attacked the Hindus who attacked back, Lenny was able to witness these brutal acts of hatred without any actual harm. It gives the narrator an advantage because had Lenny been either Hindu, Sikh, or Muslim the story would have been completely different. If Lenny was not a Parse, her innocence and her point of view of the Partition would be like the boy who witnessed the death of people and his own mother before his very eyes. The