Essay on Shame: Parent and Omar Khayyam Shakil

Submitted By theebega08
Words: 1381
Pages: 6

Shame by Salman Rushdie

During the 1940s, Pakistan had a drastic cultural separation between men and

Women. At this time, there were also many rules that people had to follow. These

Rules were religious rules. For example, you had to be married to get pregnant.

Because of these rules and this large separation, people would feel a lot of shame for

doing things that was against their religion. Shame by Salman Rushdie is a book that

portrays how shame negatively impacts a person’s life. Firstly, Omar Khayyam Shakil, the son of the three sisters, felt shame for being raised by three mothers who were pregnant before they got married. He also did not know who his real mother was or who his real father was. Secondly, the main character had three mothers that happened to be sisters. One of them became pregnant before marriage and in order to hide the identity of the one that was pregnant, the other two mimicked the symptoms of pregnancy so it was impossible to tell which one was the real mother. The mothers had to live with the shame that came from themselves and the people of their village. Lastly, Sufiya Zinobia Hyder, the women that married Omar, felt shame all of her life. Sufiya’s father did not want a daughter, he was ashamed of her. This shame that was then projected onto her, which made her feel ashamed herself.
To begin with, the book starts off with the background behind one of the main

character’s lives. Three siblings, Chhunni, Munnee, and Bunny, had a father who hated

them, after he died they decided to have a party since their father wouldn’t let them leave

the house while he was still alive. During the party, one of them had, had sex, which

happened to be against their religion since she was not married. They did not want their

sister to be judged and hated so in order to hide the identity of the real mother, all three of

the sisters impersonated the symptoms of pregnancy. They did this so people wouldn’t be

ashamed of just one of them. It is written that the identity of the mother was never

discovered, “Nobody ever discovered, not even the child that was born” (12). In this

quote, you can see that no one found out who the mother is. The child himself didn’t even

know who his biological mother was. The three sisters were so in-sync during pregnancy,

“Now the three of them began, simultaneously, to thicken at the waist and in the breast;

when one was sick in the morning, the other two began to puke in such perfect

synchronized sympathy that it was impossible to tell which stomach heaved first” (12).

The sisters would do everything at the same time together so it was not possible to ever

tell who did it first. In this quote, when one would throw up the other two would follow

so closely so no one would ever know who threw up first. The sisters went through so

much trouble to hide the identity of the real mother to protect her from shame. One day

the sisters were celebrating freedom, and the next they were forced to isolate themselves

from the outside world to hide their shame. There lives had just started and within a day,

it was taken away from them because of shame.

Omar Khayyam Shakil, the child raised by the three sisters, had to grow up with

three mothers, not even knowing which one was his biological parent. He is kept isolated

from the world his whole life. When he is of the appropriate age, his mothers allow him

to go to medical school, where he then becomes an immunologist. Omar had three

mothers that he loved and hated. It was bitter sweet to him, “Omar Khayyam Shakil was

raised by no fewer then three mothers, with not a solitary father in sight” (18). Omar had

three mothers and he did not know who his real mother was, nor did he know who his

father was. Omar not only felt shame for that reason, but also because he felt that he was

overweight and unfit to marry Sufiya. He was also overweight as a child, “Omar

Khayyam was a fat boy,