illustrated portrait of Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala

by Malala Yousafzai

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How does Malala's identity change over the course of I Am Malala, and when does this happen?

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According to I Am Malala, Malala's identity changes when she enlarges her vision so that she is not only concerned about her own education, but also speaks out about the right of all women to be educated. The specific point when this occurs is either when she begins to write her blog or when she makes her first public speech in Islamabad.

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During the course of the narrative in the autobiography I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, Malala does go through a profound change that has to do with the maturation of her ideals. In the beginning of the book, she is a young girl who loves school and studying and always...

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wants to be at the top of her class. Her love of learning is nurtured by her father, who is a teacher and school owner. He manifests his dedication to learning by allowing poor children to study for free and even sometimes bringing deprived children in to live with Malala's family so they can have a secure environment while they pursue their education. This is a relatively carefree time in Malala's life when she can pursue her education without obstacles.

However, this all changes when the Taliban begin to become an important and dangerous influence. They are opposed to the education of women and preach that women should always remain in the home. It is at this point in the narrative that Malala undergoes a change in identity. She realizes that she must think beyond the goal of merely being the top student in the class. Instead, she has to fight for her own right and the right of all women to have an education despite the threats of the Taliban.

There are several important points in the narrative which define Malala's decision to step up and speak for other women and not only for herself. Through a careful reading of the text you can choose which point you think is most important. For instance, the first time she presents her viewpoints in a public forum is when, with her father's encouragement, she begins to write a blog for the BBC Urdu website using the pseudonym Gul Mukai. The blog attracts attention, but Malala cannot reveal that she is writing it because of the danger of exposure.

Another important point in Malala's this process is when she first makes a public speech in Islamabad. After that, she and her father continue "to give lots of interviews." These, of course, make her even more famous. Eventually she receives recognition outside of the country and is even nominated for awards. If you need to choose a specific point, though, at which Malala's identity changes, it would be either when she begins to write the blog, or when she first speaks publicly in Islamabad. Once she is no longer concerned only with herself but also struggles for the rights of others, her identity changes and she becomes a symbol for all the girls and women of Pakistan who desire educations.

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