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Deborah Ellis’s The Breadwinner: Analysis of Parvana

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In chapter 6 of “The Breadwinner”, Parvana willingly disguises herself as a boy to help her family survive. In the chapter, Parvana’s mother, Nooria, and Mrs. Weera, Parvana’s mother’s friend, want to cut Parvana’s hair and disguise her as a boy so that she can got to the market and buy food without getting caught. Parvana is reluctant but she realizes that she is the only person who can help her family and that in the end, it is her choice whether she wants to help them or not. Parvana agrees to do it so she cuts her hair and wears clothes that belonged to her brother, Hossain, who died because of a land mine. Parvana goes to the market, confident because no one recognized her, and buys all the food that they family needs. Parvana does all of this just to help her family.

After reading this chapter, I am very proud of Parvana and what she has done. I think she is very brave to try and get past the Taliban while dressed as a boy. If I were in Parvana’s situation, I probably would have done exactly what she did. I would do whatever I needed to, to help my family, just like Parvana. I am glad Parvana’s family is finally starting to work together and help each other.

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I predict that later on in the story, Parvana will go to the market and try to earn money for the family. I think she will do what her father used to do, read and write letters for uneducated people, and earn enough money for the family. I think Parvana’s father will be released from jail but won’t be healthy enough to work again. He will be very proud of Parvana, his little Malali, and she will continue pretending to be a boy and earn money for the family.

I would like to say to Parvana, you are very brave for going to the market dressed as a boy. You should keep doing what you’re doing, your family needs you. To Nooria, I would like to say, stop being so hard on Parvana, she is doing her best. Parvana is the reason you are still alive. To Mrs. Weera, I would like to say, thank you for helping Parvana’s family get back on their feet. Thank you for caring for them.

After reading this chapter, I have a few questions. I wonder if Parvana will ever see her father again. I also wonder if Parvana’s mother will ever be able to cope with the loss of her son, Hossain. I want to know why Mrs. Weera was in the market and whether there was a man accompanying her. I wonder if Parvana will get caught by the Taliban for pretending to be a boy. I hope I find the answers further on in the story.

This section of “The Breadwinner” tells us that when you are the only person who can solve a certain situation, you should do it for the team. You need to think of others before you think about yourself. Parvana gives up her identity and disguises herself as a boy to help her family survive. She is scared but knowing she is the only on that can help the family gives her confidence. Because of Parvana, her family has food and everyone is happy. Being selfless and thinking about others makes everyone happy.


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