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One of the most important components I found about “Cracking India,” by Bapsi Sidhwa, is the perspective that is given on the struggle for independence, and what led to the separation of Pakistan and India. The perspective that is given through the eyes of Lenny – who is somewhat objective due to the fact that she is not a part of the two major religious groups (the Muslims and the Hindus) – provides a clear look at the various events that were important in the fight for independence. Telling the story through the eyes of a character provides the opportunity for playfulness and humor in the storyline. But the political events that are interwoven into her story, and they provide very serious subject matter in this struggle for independence, which I found very interesting.

Rather than reading about the struggle in history books, the story, as told through Lenny, gives the reader a perspective that is much more interesting, and possibly much more enlightening. However, it does require a lot of faith by the reader to put into Sidhwa. She is being trusted to tell the story with accuracy, and while there are some fictional components to the story, the overlying plot is non-fiction. That gives the author a huge amount of responsibility in ensuring that the story is told accurately, and that the historical integrity of the story is honored.

Using a character to tell the story through also provides more interesting components, because it can allow the reader to experience not only the historical plot, but also the challenges that could have been faced by individuals who lived in India during this time. Furthermore, the reader can begin to understand what it might be like to be a handicapped girl experiencing this type of conflict.  I found that the style of storytelling kept my interest much more than a strictly historical textbook would, as I was interested in the way that Lenny’s story progressed, and I began to care about the girl. Also, due to Lenny’s personality, she provides a clear take on how her family life was. She is very open about her family experience and the story can be quite funny at times. But I think one of the most interesting components was the look at the political uprising of Gandhi, who is someone I, and much of the world, have been interested in for a long time.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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