The Breadwinner: A STUDY GUIDE How to use the study guide: •Read the questions for each chapter BEFORE you read the novel. •Look for the answers as you read making sure to highlight the passages in the novel that assist you in answering the study guide questions. •Highlight in your text any quotations noted in the study guide. •Respond to the study guide questions in COMPLETE SENTENCES. You should write at least two-three thoughtful sentences for each question. Characters: -Parvane (11 years old, 6th grade) -Nooria (older sister) -Maryam (5 years – younger sister) -Mother -Father -Ali (2years – younger brother) Vocabulary Chapter 1 vocabulary Chador = a large piece of dark-colored cloth, typically worn by Muslim women, wrapped around the head and upper body to leave only the face exposed. Sentence: These women have to wear a chador. --Marveled = a wonderful or astonishing person or thing: the marvels of technology | Charlie, you're a marvel! Sentence: That child is really marveled. -Labyrinth = Anatomy a complex structure in the inner ear that contains the organs of hearing and balance. It consists of bony cavities (the bony labyrinth) filled with fluid and lined with sensitive membranes (the membranous labyrinth). Sentence: Going through a labyrinth is very hard and onfusing. -Relented = abandon or mitigate a harsh intention or cruel treatment: she was going to refuse his request, but relented. (Esp. of bad weather) become less severe or intense: by evening the rain Sentence: Your parents relented you when you were very young. -Forbade = refuse to allow (something): environmental laws forbid alteration of the coast. See note at prohibit order (someone) not to do something: I was forbidden from leaving Russia | [trans. ] my doctor has forbidden me to eat sugar. Sentence: She forbade you to wear that. -Decreed = an official order issued by a legal authority.
Sentence: Mr. President issued a decreed that we are not to deal with any of those matters. -Scampered = (esp. of a small animal or child) run with quick light steps, esp. through fear or excitement Sentence: She scampered along the road. -Burqa = a long, loose garment covering the whole body, worn in public by many Muslim women. Sentence: The Taliban requests all women wearing a burqa. How has Parvanas life changed since the Taliban took control? She lost everything. First when the bombing began she couldn’t go to school anymore because all females were required to stay inside their house.
At first she actually liked it but then when she realized the consequences she started understanding. As the war continued more bombs came and one hit their home. It was a nice house with many rooms and her father had a good job and with that nice income. But this first bomb destroyed everything they had to move and but the worst her father lost his legs. As they kept moving their housing began to shrink every time they had a smaller house until now they only have 1 room in a half destroyed apartment. This doesn’t give anyone of her family any privacy so they have a tuff time with that.
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Also her father now since he can read and write works on the marked and reads letters for money. Also they sell their family belongings. Parvana actually gets a chance to go outside because she has to help her dad walk since he also sold his fake legs. When the Taliban see her, her father always finds a good excuse so nothing really happens. CHAPTER ONE (p. 7-18) 1. Why does Parvana have to hide her face and voice when she goes to the marketplace with her father? What will happen if she doesn’t? The Taliban who at that stage rule the country don’t allow any female to be outside their house except if they wear a burqa and have a male guardian.
They are only allowed to show their hair and face to close relatives. Parvana can only come outside on the marked because her father needs help to walk and since he doesn’t has any other child strong enough it as to be Parvana. She can show her face because she is still a child and no women. She is not supposed to talk because she isn’t supposed to be out of the house so she should act as if she wasn’t there. Mostly the Taliban are fine with it that Parvana helps her father and there is no other option. But if a older women would do the same and not be totally covered she would be punished badly. . How old is Parvana? How is age significant for a girl living in a society governed by the Taliban? Parvana is 11. This is important because it shows she is still a child. The Talban aren’t as strict about the rules with being covered up and staying inside with a child. Also her father can have much better excuses for her than for his wife or older daughter. 3. How does Parvana initially feel about not being able to go to school? What does Nooria understand about this situation that Parvana does not? At first Parvana didn’t get the whole situation so she actually enjoyed it.
At that point Nooria actually did get the situation and hated Parvana for being so stupid. She knew the Taliban wouldn’t let them go to school for a very long time and they would probably not e educated. As Parvana began to understand the whole situation she started feeling like Nooria did. 4. How does Parvana’s father currently make a living for the family? Why has he chosen this as his occupation? He reads and writes letters for people. Almost no one went to college and many couldn’t even read. He actually could and also in many different languages. He also sold the family belongings on the marked for some extra money.
Actually this family is lucky for having someone with such rare talent so people don’t really have a choice except for paying her father to read their letters to them. 5. Describe the living conditions Parvana and her family currently exist in. Compare them to the family’s previous living situation. Their house is very small and food is rare. They have to go get the water from outside their house. Also almost all of their belongings are sold. It is a one-room apartment in a half bombed down house. There is no privacy for any of them. Also it gets even worse since only two of them can go outside.
It is usually for the rest just cleaning. Before they had good income and a huge house. All of them were able to go outside and have fun. They had flowing water and much food. 6. What is the Taliban? Describe the restrictions they place on the people of Kabul. The Taliban are a group of religious extremists. They ruled Afghanistan from Kabul. From their law no women could go outside except with their husband or their permission. Also they started war so bombs destroyed much. A grown up women had to cover her whole body in public and could only show her body to close relatives. CHAPTER TWO (p. 19-33) 1.
Explain the mixed emotions Parvana feels about carrying water for her family. She knows that she is the only one who can do the job but also sometimes she is so tired that Parvana would give a lot for not doing it. Adding to that she is really angry about it that her sister always comments what she does. Usually only her anger and responsibility for her family give her the power to finish the task. 2. Explain who Hossain is. Got killed. 3. “’How can we be brave? ’ Nooria asked. ‘We can’t even go outside. ’ ‘There are many types of battles,’ Father said quietly. ’” (29) Explain what Father means in the above quotes.
How does he want his daughters to be brave? A battle doesn’t have to be with weapons. The thing that hurts most aren’t physical pains its metal one. Fighting with words or just surviving under such Bad live circumstances is being brave. Also to fight the temptation to just go outside and probably gets killed through that is a huge battle. 4. “As the soldiers pried her loose, she heard her father say, ‘Take care of the others, my Malali. ’ Then he was gone. ” (31) Who is Malali? Why does Parvana’s father call her that and ask her to care for the others? Malali is a brave girl from a story.
The Afghans were about to lose a big battle but then she came and led the army to win. It always was Parvanas favorite story and her father knew she would do everything to be like Malali so she would take care of the family. She would try being as strong and brave as the girl in the story her father knew. 5. “Father’s books! …Some were English books about history and literature. They were kept hidden because the Taliban burned books they didn’t like. ” (32) What does this quote explain about the Taliban and the difficult position Parvana’s father would have been in once they took power in Afghanistan?
The Taliban only respected their own couture and with that also their language. If someone was educated somewhere else they said their mind was twisted and they now are bad people. The English books were evidence that her father was educated in England and the Taliban wouldn’t like that at all. Also after Parvanas father was taken away these books were basically the only things that remained them of him. 6. Why do you believe the Taliban took Parvana’s father away? They think his mind was twisted through the education in a different country. They though he is someone bad. Also their religion was if they kill someone bad they would be good.
Another thing is they say if someone goes away to be educated he is saying his home country is bad. CHAPTER THREE (p. 34-43) 1. List the ways the Taliban restricts the movement, dress and behavior of women and girls as noted in the novel thus far. Women have to wear burqas when they go outside and they have to have a male guardian or permission from their husband. As child the rules weren’t so strict for Parvana and since she is the only option the Taliban allowed it. If women showed any part of their body in public she would be punished. Only close relatives were allowed to see her. Can’t go to work, school.
Can’t make eye contact with man. No public transportation. 2. Why was the act of Parvana and her mother traveling to the prison to find Father such a difficult one? Because women on their own can’t ride the bus. Also due the long Burqa Parvanas mother had to wear they couldn’t walk fast. The way to the prison was long and the roads destroyed. Had photographs but they were illegal? 3. How do Parvana and her mother attempt to get her father out of prison and what is the result? They were keeping telling the guards that he didn’t do anything and they should let him go free. Also that they want him back.
But then they got beaten up. 4. “Helping Mother down the broken stairs was a little like helping Father, as the billowing burqa made it hard for her to see where she was going. ” (39) What does this passage imply about the impact of a burqa on the movement and daily activity of a woman? Why would the Taliban desire such an impact? It shows that through the dress code of the Taliban women weren’t able to really walk also the bombing destroyed many roads and buildings which made it even harder. CHAPTER FOUR (p. 44-53) 1. “’If we had left Afghanistan when we had the chance, I could be doing my work! ’ ‘We are Afghans.
This is our home. If all the educated people leave, who will rebuild the country? ’” (45) Parvana says this is an argument her parents frequently have. Explain her mother’s side of the argument and her father’s side of the argument. Why is their’s such a difficult position to be in? Her mother said they had a chance to leave the country but they didn’t. Since both mother and father in Parvanas Family are educated they are part of the higher standard group of people. Her fathers argument is that Afghanistan will need smart people to rebuild the country after the Taliban were gone. Mother wants to do their job.
If there are no other educated people who wants to kick out the taliban 2. Why is Parvana the only member of the family who can go out and purchase food while her father is in prison? Her sister is to old to just safely go outside without a man and Ali is too young. But she is still a girl so she can go outside and buy food. 3. “Now I’ve got her, Parvana thought. I can make her as miserable as she makes me. But she was surprised to find that this thought gave her no pleasure. Maybe she was too tired and too hungry. Instead of turning her back, she took the money from her sister’s hand (53).
This quotation points to the ongoing conflict between the sisters. Explain why Parvana initially thinks she will be able to make Nooria miserable. Because if Parvana would not go, and get the food, her sister would certainly have to, and without her father being there she was scared. Discuss why you believe that thought does not give Parvana any pleasure. Because Nooria always was mean to Parvana and Parvana had never had a real chance to give that back. CHAPTER FIVE (p. 54-62) 7. Parvana begins to change once her father has been put in prison. Characterize the change that begins to occur in Parvana.
What does she do that shows this change and explain why she is changing. She actually was responsible enough to go on the marked and get the food also she got water for her family. She could have tortured Nooria but she didn’t instead she just did her work. 8. Who is Mrs. Weera and why is her visit to Parvana’s family so important? She worked with Parvanas mother together and needs a piece of writing. She is one of the old friends of the family and now she builds them up again. Gym teacher Parvanas Teacher. CHAPTER SIX (p. 63-73) 1. “They were going to turn her into a boy” (63).
Explain the plan Mrs. Weera and the family come up with. Why must Parvana make the final decision if the plan was to work. They wanted to turn her into a boy so she could earn money and go on the marked freely. To cut her hair of and make her look like a boy isn’t to hard and the rest could also force her to do it but the acting on the marked and the talking was her job and if she doesn’t want to do it there would be no way to force her. 2. When Parvana goes out in the street dressed as a boy she feels different. Explain the difference in her feelings and why this is so.
She feels free and another thing as a girl she always tried to hide now if she just acts normal she has the best Hiding ever its just another boy running around the streets. 3. The important characters in The Breadwinner are…(list five and a brief description of each) a. Parvana – very strong heart, doesn,t like older sister b. Parvana as boy = does everything to help family actually works together with her sister c. Nooria = grumpy but takes responsibility for family d. Mother = after father was taken away depressions e. Father = always believed in Parvana CHAPTER SEVEN (p. 74-82) 1.
Parvana reads a letter for a Talib. What is surprising about his reaction to the letter? Why? Before she thought Taliban weren’t human they had no feelings and were cold blooded. But then she realized that they actually are human and only do what they belief in and that some are forced to do so. CHAPTER EIGHT (p. 83-94) 1. Why does Mrs. Weera move in with Parvana and her family? She and Parvanas Mother want to make their own magazine and also she wants to bring the family back on track. 2. What excellent idea does Parvana have regarding her freedom as a boy and how she can help her mother and sister?
Why might Nooria object to the idea? She as male guardian could take them outside and there would be no risk. Taking them out after a year and a half of a small closed room improves their mood by a lot. 3. What does Parvana discover about the blacked-out window? Make a prediction about what might happen later in the novel in relation to the window. There is a woman who lets stuff come to her to tell some kind of message. Maybe at the end she will help them or she will betray them. CHAPTER NINE (p. 95-103) 1. Describe the conditions of Shauzia’s life (family, work, home).
Why might it be helpful to Parvana to know about the difficulties of another girl her age? She has even les money and their living conditions are really bad. 2. In this chapter, plans for the magazine and a school for girls begin to develop. What are the plans and why are such conversations so important for Parvana, Mother, Mrs. Weera and Nooria? This would give girls a chance to actually learn again and do something different from just staying at home. Also it is finally something to do for Nooria and her Mother. The magazine lets other people around the world know whats going on in Afghanistan.
CHAPTER TEN (p. 104-113) 1. What do the girls decide to do to make more money? Why do you think Parvana has trouble morally with the idea of this money-making scheme? They decided to dig up bones on a grave yard and sell them to the “bone Bocker”. Higher money income. Because she asks her self the question if their families would be mad and if the dead person themselves would. 2. When Parvana has to go to the bathroom in the middle of the day, she is very scared. Explain why. What would you have done in her place? She is firstly scared that someone finds out she is no boy and also because of landmines.
She heard many stories about them and that she could blow up any second. I wouldn’t go dig up bones in the first place. CHAPTER ELEVEN (p. 114-122) 1. Why does Parvana cry when she returns from the graveyard? Is she being immature? She cries because all these pictures of skulls on a grave stone and bones come back into her mind. No she isn’t because it is hard enough even being able to ruin other peoples graves. 2. Why does Parvana want to continue digging up bones? Because she makes more money that way, so she and her friend have some left over’s for their money making idea. . What gift drops on Parvana’s head in this chapter? It was a red wooden bead. 4. Why does Parvana feel that arguing with Nooria just doesn’t make sense any more? Because they all have to help each other and stick together to get through this hard situation, and also because she thinks she or Nooria have changed. 5. Parvana can’t stand to eat her nan at lunch and gives it to a beggar instead. What does this action reveal about Parvana? What does she recognize about food in their society? It shows that digging up the bones actually effects her and makes her feel bad.
Also that there isn’t much food in society. 6. The girls decide to go sell their goods at a soccer match. When they get to the stadium, they see something very different from a soccer match going on. What do they witness? That the Taliban cut of hands of thief. As a brutal way of punishment. CHAPTER TWELVE (p. 123-134) 1. Mother’s reaction to the events at the soccer stadium is “What century are we living in? ” (123). What does she mean when she says this? She means that no one profits from this and that almost no one likes or is even ok with the situation.
She means that many years ago this was done and she feels like they life in a society of that time. 2. “No one said anything to Parvana when the bread ran out, but she got up and went to work that day anyway. Some things just had to be done” (124). What does this passage reveal about Parvana, especially in comparison to her behavior at the beginning of the novel? She changed a lot she now is very responsible and knows what she has to do she won’t even complain about it anymore, because it feels just right. 3. Shauzia tells Parvana she has a plan to leave.
Parvana wonders how she can leave her family. What do both girls struggle with at the prospect of fleeing Afghanistan? Why does Shauzia feel like a bad person? That they have to leave their family behind also they have to decide fast because their body is changing and the can’t keep up the cover. Also her family will not survive if she leaves since she is their breadwinner. 4. Parvana’s sense of what is “normal” has changed. Explain this change. She starts to stick with the situation and also to accept it at the beginning she wasn’t open to any changes and still thought about the past.
Because her life of sitting at the marked and trying to be invisible and then pretending to be a boy and taking over the family responsibilities. 5. Explain how Nooria and Mrs. Weera starting the school for girls is a form of resistance against the Taliban. They only have very few girls and sometimes she goes to the students sometimes the students come. They wanted to give the girls education which the Taliban stoped. CHAPTER THIRTEEN (p. 135-143) 1. Why does Nooria decide to marry a man she hardly knows? What will the benefits of the union be? She can finally start her own life and she thinks she chance educated there.
She thinks that the Taliban have less power there. 2. Parvana refuses to go to Mazar for the wedding yet she sulks when her mother decides not to take Parvana with her. Explain why Parvana might feel such mixed emotions. Because its her sisters wedding and the whole family should be there also the trip is dangerous. She wants to stay for her friend and also in case her father comes back. She has to work for the money. 3. As Nooria leaves, Parvana teases her. A change in their relationship is evident. Explain how things used to be and how they are now as the two sisters anticipate being separated.
Why do you believe this change has come about? At the beginning Parvana and Nooria hated each other and every kind of teasing started a fight. Now since the situation got so bad they started working together and actually acting like sisters. CHAPTER FOURTEEN (p. 144-154) 1. What kind and courageous act does Parvana carry out in this chapter? She brings a home she doesn’t even know. This was risky because this women didn’t wear a burqa and not even a chador. She would be in much trouble if the Taliban found them. 2. Describe what the Kabul of the past was like.
In the past Kabul was the hotspot of Asia. There used to be lights through the whole night and the nightlive was amazing. 3. Why does Parvana think of herself as “Malali leading the troops through enemy territory? ” (148). Because she helps that women and this task was very risky. Also because she was pretending to be a boy even though she is a girl. 4. What terrible news does Parvana receive once Homa has rested, eaten and is able to speak? Why would she not have heard about this before? That the Taliban took over Mazar and killed many people, since her family was there she thinks they are dead.
She didn’t hear of that before because there are no news through telivision or radio. 5. How does Parvana respond to this news? Why do you think she deals with the situation this way? First she does the same thing as her mother but then she gets back up and continues fighting. All this for the case if her father comes back. CHAPTER FIFTEEN (p. 155-166) 1. Parvana begins to feel better in this chapter. What is the source of her new sense of purpose and hope? Her father has come home so she actually has a thing to fight for. She hoped since her father came back the rest of the faily may also come home. . Shauzia wants desperately to leave Afghanistan. What is Parvana’s reaction to this desire? What is Mrs. Weera’s response to Parvana’s request that Shauzia go with her to Pakistan? Parvana wants to help her friend but Miss Weera doesn’t want to take her to Pakistan because she thinks its not right. 3. Why does Parvana plant flowers in the spot where she usually sells in the marketplace? As a gift to the women behind the dark window, and as a goodbye. To show the window women she isn’t coming back. 4. The flowers draw the attention of many people. What might the flowers be a symbol of in the novel?
Because it is something butifull and a sign of peace. Which both is really rare in this situation. Because they believed the flower isn’t going to grow and Parvana is foolish to even try. 5. The future is uncertain for Shauzia and Parvana but the make a plan to see each other in twenty years. What is the plan and what does Parvana wonder about as she departs from Kabul? They plan is that they meet each other on the first day of spring on the top of the ifel tower in Paris. Parvana wonders about what her country is going to be like in that time and if both of them survive the time.
on The Breadwinner Chapter 1
Is the story true? It’s a second-hand account, and Dr. Ciancio declined to identify the physician who supposedly told it to him, which makes verification of that aspect of the tale difficult.
Her father, Nurullah, is a former school teacher who became a hawker after losing his left leg in the Soviet–Afghan War. One day, during supper, he is unjustly arrested after a volatile young member of the Taliban, Idrees, thinks he insulted him earlier while the two were selling goods in the market.
The Breadwinner Summary. The Breadwinner opens with eleven-year-old Parvana and her father at a market in Kabul, Afghanistan. She sits silently with her face covered in a chador scarf while her father, who has difficulty walking and needs her assistance, tries to sell off some of the family's household goods. He also reads letters for a fee, as
What if I need to become the breadwinner?Life-changing events can mean you need to become the breadwinner. My friend’s story is unique to her but common to so many other working women. A world changed in one phone call. The dedication paid off in more ways than one. Colleen reflects on becoming the breadwinner in the middle of a crisis.
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