Summary Of The Short Story The Shame

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In the short story The Shame, author Yusuf Idris illustrates diverse female personalities in a realistic manner. To begin, the majority of the women on the farm are ignorant and oblivious to the gender inequalities and discriminative standards in their culture. They loved Fatma, but when she is accused of committing The Shame, the women do not believe in Fatma and force themselves on her. Although this characterization of the population is necessary for plot development, it further reinforces the stereotype that farmers and workers in the agricultural sector are less-educated than those from cities and villages. In addition, while Om George, the bailiff’s wife, is characterized as a literate, devoted, and trustworthy lady, Sabha is notorious for her “shady character” (Idris 64) and rumours of her tolerance and facilitation for affairs. This reveals the difference in status, education, and religious beliefs between female characters and contributes to the overall diversity of the work. On the other hand, Fatma is a beautiful young women because of her intense femininity - “[a] gushing, throbbing, devastating force which it was hard to trace to any definite force” (Idris 59). Such description of women is rather rare, especially in literature, because they are traditionally perceived as the weaker vessel dependent on men. By expressing femininity as a powerful force, Idris contrasts the conventional stereotypes of women being powerless and insignificant.

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