I Am Malala

I Am Malala Metaphors and Similes

"It seemed to us that the Taliban had arrived in the night just like vampires." (Chapter 9, pg. 60) (Simile)

Malala and Moniba both read Twilight, a famous book series by Stephenie Meyer about vampires. They compare the approaching Taliban to vampires, slinking through the night and arriving unexpectedly. This is an important simile because it emphasizes the degree to which the people of Swat were caught off-guard when the Taliban began to occupy their formerly peaceful valley.

"Malala is free as a bird." (Chapter 1, pg. 19) (Simile)

This simile recurs throughout the memoir as Malala recalls the words her father has always said to her. From the moment she was born, Malala's father was determined to make sure that his daughter received the same opportunities that any child would, regardless of her gender. She was "free as a bird," which is a particularly significant comparison because he himself was called "Ziauddin the falcon" by his own father.

"My father spoke like a lion, but I could see in his heart he was worried and scared." (Chapter 19, pg. 116) (Simile)

As new Talibanization continues, with the Taliban specifically coming after those who dare to speak out against them, Malala and her father both become more nervous about what is going on. Part of Malala's father's character is to constantly put on a front of courage to reassure his family—to speak “like a lion," as Malala puts it. But Malala understands what is at stake, and knows her father well enough to see his vulnerabilities.

"He knows people say it's his fault that I was shot, that he pushed me to speak up like a tennis dad trying to create a champion, as if I don't have my own mind." (Epilogue, pg. 152) (Simile)

Although international response is overwhelmingly in support of Malala after her shooting, many people in Pakistan had a different response. As explained in this quote, people believed that Malala's father was wrong to encourage her to be an activist, that he cared more about "[creating] a champion" than preserving his daughter's life. Malala firmly maintains, however, that everything she said was of her own accord.

"For us girls that doorway was like a magical entrance to our own special world." (Prologue, pg. 8) (Simile)

In this simile, Malala speaks about the entrance to the Kushal School, and how magical it felt growing up and spending every day going through these doors. For Malala, school was a sanctuary, a place where she and her friends could be themselves and focus solely on receiving an education. Even during their occupation of Swat, the Taliban could not take away their indescribable love for attending school.