The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner Irony

Parvana wasn't unhappy when the Taliban took over (Situational Irony)

In an instance of situational irony, the narrator comments on how Parvana wasn't terribly unhappy when the Taliban first took over Kabul. Without knowing the full extent of the oppression to come, Parvana was relieved she wouldn't have to go to school, as she had been worrying about an upcoming test and had recently found herself in trouble with her teacher for speaking in class.

Talib cries over dead wife's letter (Situational Irony)

In chapter seven, an illiterate Talib pays Parvana to read a letter that had been sent to his deceased wife. After Parvana reads it, the soldier cries. In this instance of situational irony, Parvana is shocked to witness a Taliban soldier express fragility, having only known the soldiers to be ruthless oppressors.

The tea boy is a girl (Situational Irony)

While working in the market, disguised as Kaseem, Parvana recognizes the face of one of the tea boys. She is shocked to learn it is Shauzia, a girl from her class at school. In this instance of situational irony, Parvana realizes that she is not the only girl whose family had the idea to disguise her as a boy to make money.

Makes it easier to move (Verbal Irony)

Before Mrs. Weera moves in with Parvana's family, Parvana helps Mrs. Weera gather her possessions from her old place. Mrs. Weera says that she has lost most of what she once owned through raids and bombings. Despite the somber topic, Mrs. Weera demonstrates her resilient attitude through verbal irony, joking that having less carries the benefit of making it easier to move.