Structure

“She Shall Not Be Moved” by Shereen Pandit is structured around the single event in the life of a woman: a trip by bus. However, instead of the narrator having a normal trip, she unwillingly becomes involved in a racial conflict between a Somali woman and two white women. The short story respects the traditional plot structure, having an exposition, a rising action, a climax, a falling action and a resolution.

Title

The title of the story becomes very symbolic of the themes expressed in the text. Before reading the story, readers might imagine that the main character must be a woman who is either very stubborn or who refuses to move from a certain place. After reading the story, we realise that our assumptions were correct, but that they only partly represent the true meaning of the title.

On the one hand, the title refers to the Somali woman who “shall not be moved” from the bus, even if all odds are against her. She is constantly bullied by white passengers and she is in danger of losing her balance and falling off with her two children, yet she does not want to back off and leave the bus.

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Beginning

The exposition of the story introduces the main characters – the narrator and her daughter Mariam – and the context of the story.

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Middle

In the rising action, the narrator marks several tension points. First, she notices how two white women deliberately refuse to move seats and allow...

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Ending

In the falling action, the narrator narrator tries to make Mariam forget about the incident in the bus.

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