Burnt Shadows Analysis

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Thus, the story Burnt Shadows(2009) shares the concept with the reader that past events haunt the memories of individuals in order to shape their new identities at new places as the scars of bird shaped burns on Hiroko’s back always haunt her memories in future. Like Hiroko’s ‘hibakusha’, another critic traces the impact of Nagasaki bombing in the following lines:

Actually, Shamsie puts a human face to the complications that arise during war not only governmental but personally and socially. By presenting the variegated relationships, conversations and tensions, Shamsie inspires the reactions of the characters whether it is sympathy, anger or the frustration during war. Directly or indirectly, she questions the fundamental inhumanity of the acts of violence and terror to which the protagonist Hiroko has witnessed. She declares helplessly about the territorial events of Nagasaki, September 11,2001, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan,
The main plot of the novel is driven by alliances between characters as well as misinterpretations and accidents of history. Hence, Shamsie paints a breathtaking picture with words and recurring themes which shows her ability to take monumental events of history and then make them the basis of individuals’ lives affecting their identity. Both tragedies, the bombing of Nagasaki in World War II and the 9/11 attacks are the focal points of Shamsie’s Burnt Shadows (2009). Her characters also deal with the political machinations on both an
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