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She Shall Not Be Moved

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She shall not be moved


The short story, written by Shereen Pandit, is about a woman, who is the narrator in the story, and her daughter sitting in a bus. There are two white women who are sitting on fold-up seats, which are made for people with prams. The two women pretend that they don't see the Somali woman who is holding a pram in one hand and carrying a toddler in the other. The narrator points out the empty seats opposite to the two women so they can move to them and make space for the Somali woman, but they don't response. The narrator hears the two women pronouncing racist expressions. The black driver comes to the Somali woman and yells at her because she is standing in the aisle. Later, the narrator feels upset because she doesn't help the Somali woman, even though she has taught her daughter to stand up against wrongdoings. She tells the Somali woman to report the driver, but the Somali woman says that he is just a slave.


The narrator is a middle aged, polite, sensible and helpful woman, who has a daughter called Mariam. The narrator was raised very well, and she was taught to treat all people equally no matter their race or origin. She raised her daughter in the same way, and taught her not to let anyone walk over her just because they are white, stronger or richer. She also taught her daughter to stand up against bullies at school, whether children are bullying her or someone else. She has political posters and slogans at home to teach Mariam to be against violence and racism. The narrator acts very kindly when she tries to point out to the two women that there are two empty seats in front of them, and when they don't response, she offers her own seat to the Somali woman. She doesn't tell the two women to move because she is afraid of them. She thinks of the consequences if she intervenes. She is afraid to get kicked off the bus with her daughter and end up outside in the cold. She is upset at herself because she is not sticking up to the Somali woman, and because she is not saying anything to the two women or to the driver. She feels bad because she is not doing what she was taught and what she always used to teach her daughter, and the daughter is just beside her and she is experiencing the entire episode. The narrator is probably a black woman, because the Somali woman said to her before leaving the bus that the driver is a slave, while she looked hard at the narrator. The narrator felt that the Somali woman also was referring to her when she said slave.

The conflict

The narrator experiences two conflicts in the bus journey. The first conflict is racism. The two white women are sitting on fold-up seats, while the Somali woman with a pram is standing in front of them. They know that the Somali woman needs the space for



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