What Are the Three Most Important Themes Raised by the Novel Parvana by Deborah Ellis?

Topics: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Taliban Pages: 3 (1174 words) Published: October 9, 2010
What are the three most important themes raised by the novel Parvana by Deborah Ellis?

In the novel, Parvana, it has been suggested that there are a number of themes, however there are three themes which are more significant than the others. Having to masquerade as a boy to gain access to the outside world, is a sure sign of courage, one of the major issues of the novel. With this courage, come various forms of rebellion against the Taliban, an issue vital for an understanding of this text. The third most important theme concerns the challenge that occurs between desire and duties, as characters struggle with their responsibilities. Therefore, it can be stated that the three concepts mentioned above are the novel’s most pressing concerns.

Probably the most important theme in the entire novel is that of courage, since it because of her determination and boldness that Parvana is able to deal with the challenges she faces. It is hard to believe that the naïve eleven year old of the opening chapters becomes the courageous young adult that her family must rely on. This courage is first evident when Parvana decides to disguise herself as a boy and states, “In the end, it was really her decision…‘I’ll do it.”’ This shows us that Parvana realizes that her family is in desperate need and is willing to put herself in direct jeopardy for her family.

Her disguise as a boy provides her with a measure of freedom and the means to make a living in the marketplace of Kabul, an act necessary for her family to survive. Parvana’s behaviour is courageous as she knows that if she is caught by the Taliban, she shall be punished, but knows that it is necessary because she is supporting her family. Parvana is forced to show courage for this particular task, because her father is taken to prison.

Parvana’s courage is also witnessed when she travels with her mother to the prison to retrieve her father. Walking the long distance to the jail is bad, yet two women outside without...
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