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by Newcastle72
Last updated 6 years ago

Social Studies
World Culture

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ShauziaShe's walking out of mud city, looking for a better life


War and Poverty

Harsh World

Shauzia’s ambition and resilience are obvious in her drive to achieve her goal to meet with her friend on the Eiffel Tower. Ellis’s use of imagery where, Shauzia dreams of escaping ‘the world of mudwalls’ in Pakistan to ‘a lavender field’ in France, gives a touching insight into the feelings and dreams of the teenager. Her amazing strength and creativity is evident in her escape from Afghanistan dressed as a boy. Mrs Weera, the supervisor, suggests that she enters the nurses’ training program but Shauzia wants to follow her dream immediately, 'I can't spend a few years here, I'd go crazy.' This teenage enthusiasm appeals to the reader and connects through shared beliefs about the importance of following your dreams.

The realities of war and poverty are conveyed to the reader through the powerful yet simple dialogue. "How can I walk with this bad leg?...Your leg is merely broken, not blown off. Stop complaining." This interchange in the hospital after Shauzia is injured during the riot reveals the importance of resilience to her survival. The sense of isolation and harshness that Shauzia develops in this environment melts with Mrs Weera's gentle words, "You precious child...France...lucky to get you." These words are the key reason Shauzia stops running away and decides to help the women who are returning to Afghanistan to bring hope to other refugees. Shauzia's change of direction emphasizes both the universal power of kindness and the hardships experienced by refugees.

Deborah Ellis conveys insights into the harsh world of the people who are living in the poverty of Afghanistan. Through her use of characterization, the composer creates a picture in the reader’s mind of Shauzia begging on the streets and the contrast of life in the American family. ‘Spare any roupees?’ she asked a man coming out of the shop. He walked right by her outstretched hand.’ This confronts the reader with how people look down on the beggars and the social injustice that is experienced in such contexts. “I want ice-cream!’ the smaller boy, Jake whined. ‘Eat your carrots first,’ Barbara said. ‘No!” The contrast between poverty and luxury enables the Western reader to gain an insight into life of the refugee. This evocative description creates a deal of insight into the deprivation of life in Afghanistan.

Ellis challenges the responder to develop greater insights into the resilience and strength needed for survival in the wider world of the refugee, through Shauzia, a teenage girl who has a dream of going to France. Ellis’s use of imagery, characterization and dialogue effectively creates a powerful narrative which enables the reader to empathise with Shauzia's struggles.

‘Shauzia’ reveals the strength and resilience required to live through the evils of being a refugee in Afghanistan. Deborah Ellis uses the narrative of Shauzia's attempt to escape to a better life in France to highlight the struggles of being a refugee. Her use of imagery, characterization and dialogue are powerful ways of helping the responder develop insights into the wider world.


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