Gender Roles in Deborah Ellis' Novel Parvana

Categories: Gender RolesNovels

Deborah Ellis novel Parvana explores how human can survive in near to impossible situations and misfortune, however Parvana not only survives but thrives. The novel is set in Afghanistan at the height of the theocracy where her father has lost a leg her brother has been killed by a mine and her mother is undergoing extreme stress. However things take a turn for the worst when they thought nothing else could happen, and her father is taken away by the Taliban so she is forced to dress up as a boy and provide an income for the family.

Parvana is chosen to do the work for the family then why didn’t her mother dress up as a boy instead or her older sister? It is true that she supported her father every day at the market but is it really right to pick a girl that isn’t even a teenager? Well the answer in quite simple yes the reason being this being her family believes that she is the only family member able to undergo the transformation in gender as well as the mental transformation.

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Once Parvana father is taken away by the Taliban nothing will ever be the same even if he does come back. So Parvana is forced to give up certain aspects of her and her family’s lives in order to insure the family survival an example of this is when she dresses up as a boy in order to go outside, this is a major change to Parvana life because she most definitely did not do this previously, however the differences don’t just stop at family routines if you like and visual differences but also effects the family mentally for example as time goes by Parvana becomes braver and stroner however her mum does not benefit as much and becomes disheartened and depressed.

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Gender Roles in Deborah Ellis' Novel Parvana. (2016, May 16). Retrieved from

Gender Roles in Deborah Ellis' Novel Parvana

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