Mud City by Deborah Ellis has a person vs. self conflict. Throughout the book, the main character Shauzia is constantly battling with herself so she can make her way from Pakistan to France. At the age of fourteen and living in current Pakistan, she has many things to deal with each day including other people who make her doubt herself. But, she is determined to finish her journey and prove those people wrong. Mrs. Weera helped Shauzia into the refugee camp. Although some people would kill to get into there and have any sort of food and shelter, Shauzia wants more.
When she asks to get paid for all of her services that she has done in the camp, Mrs. Weera denies even the thought of it. “ ‘You don’t know what it’s like out there. You’ve always been taken care of. You won’t be able to manage on your own’ ” (Ellis 19). Shauzia was furious by this accusation and made up her mind immediately. She would leave this camp and prove herself to Mrs. Weera. But when Shauzia had been delivered back to the camp after a very interesting journey alone in Peshawar, she realizes that they don’t care if she proves herself or not.
To Shauzia, it seemed as though Mrs. Weera did not care enough to even pay her any attention. So Shauzia devised a plan to sneak into the locked flour shack and prove herself once again by stealing flour for her part of camp. But as she was running from the shack a man grabbed the flour out of her arms and proceeded to hit her. “He raised his arm and slammed his fist into Shauzia’s head. She dropped to the ground. Her head hit the dirt with a thud, and she watched the man run off with her flour” (Ellis 133). She woke up in a hospital bed with a broken leg and cast sometime later. All she could think about was how she had failed to keep the flour from the man.
Children always seem to think they are smarter than adults. Even if someone says not to do something, they try to prove how cool they are by doing it anyways. Shauzia continues to do this throughout the book. Eventually she finds that the only person she is proving things to is herself. She decides to continue her journey with someone who she always thought needed to be proved wrong… Mrs. Weera. In the end, Shauzia realizes that other people haven’t always been her problem. Her problem is herself. Finally at the beginning of yet another journey, she finds that this constant battle with herself has come to a close.
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