Themes and message

Speaking out against injustice 

The theme of the short story “She Shall Not Be Moved” by Shereen Pandit is speaking out against injustice.

The narrator claims she is an activist: “There are political posters and slogans all over the house” (ll. 122-123). She also teaches Mariam to stand up against wrongdoings, just as her own mother has taught her when she was young, “always show them we’re better” (l. 45). It could be assumed, then, that she would be likely to speak out when she witnesses an injustice. However, on the bus, she comes up with all sorts of excuses not to do anything. 

It is also significant that the narrator waits for the Somali woman, to make the first move, so she can back her up (ll. 87-89). The way the narrator chooses to take a stand by not giving a seat to an old white woman who had nothing to do with the incident is passive aggressive and does not produce any results. It could also send the ...

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