This study guide will help you analyze the short story “The Escape” by Qaisra Shahraz. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective.
Presentation of the text
Title: “The Escape” (2013)
Author: Qaisra Shahraz
Genre: Short story
Qaisra Shahraz (1958) is a British-Pakistani novelist and journalist. She was born in Pakistan, and currently lives in Manchester, England. She has published three novels and several short stories. In 2020, she was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to gender equality and cultural learning.
Here you can read an extract from our study guide:
A few examples of imagery can be found in the text. It is used to describe Samir’s emotional state to us, particularly in relation to his grief.
When Samir thinks about the fact that he is spending his first Eid festival without his wife, “sorrow suffocated; desperation tearing at him” (p. 3, ll. 31-32). Here, sorrow and desperation are personified, making them appear like hostile forces attacking him. These two personifications highlight Samir’s extreme pain after losing his life partner. For Samir, it feels as if he can no longer find any pleasure in the activities he used to enjoy, because his wife is no longer there with him.
As he tells his children that he wants to visit Pakistan, Samir tries to avoid “giving them a glimpse of the abyss inside him” (p. 4, l. 14). This metaphor also helps describe his grief, as well as to his feeling of being out of place among his own family.