I Am Malala Chapters 4-8 Summary & Analysis
Chapter 4 Summary: The Village
Malala became close with her paternal grandfather, who she calls Baba. During holidays, the family travels to see his village by bus. The paddy fields and lush green orchards turn to chemical-laden streams. The village sat between the White Mountain and the Black Mountain. Malala says her father thought the White Mountain was “a symbol of peace for our land, a white flag at the end of our valley” (62). She describes the village as a poor, crumbling place.
Malala also describes the differences between her and her cousins. “My cousins made fun of me for my city ways” (64). She wore shoes, read books, and had a different accent. “They thought I was modern because I came from town” (64). Her cousins and she play marriage—putting makeup on and marrying one of the girls away. “Once would start crying and we would stroke her hair and try to convince her not to worry. ‘Marriage is a part of life,’ we said’” (65).
The women in the village cover their faces. Malala does not. “One of my male cousins was angry and asked my father, ‘Why isn’t she covered?’ He replied, ‘She’s my daughter. Look after your own affairs.’ But some of the family thought people would gossip about us and say we were not properly following Pashtunwali” (66). Despite the injustices Malala sees other women facing, her father assures her things were worse for women in Afghanistan—girls’ schools were burned. Her father further assures her by saying, “I will protect your freedom, Malala. Carry on with your dreams” (68).
Chapter 5 Summary: Why I Don’t Wear Earrings and Pashtuns Don’t Say Thank You
“By the age of seven I was used to being the top of my class” (69). Malala competeswith her good friend, Moniba. When a new girl, Malka-e-Noor joins the class, she thinks little of it, until Malka-e-Noor receives top marks on the year-end exams. The incident hurts Malala, and she cried. Around the same time, Malala and her family moved to a different neighborhood. She meets Safina, a younger girl.