'Change In Under The Persimmon Tree'

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In every person’s life, the events that occur around them affect and change their character and personality. In Under The Persimmon Tree Najmah is changed by the loss of her father and brother, which is something that happens in real life. Similarly, a rule that the Taliban have created causes Najmah to become an almost entirely new person when traveling to Peshawar. Nusrat is also affected by real life laws and events when she is forced to think about her parents and New York because she would not be allowed to live in Pakistan as a single woman. Many character developments and conflicts in Under the Persimmon Tree are based in real life events that occur because the Taliban treat women poorly. The Taliban taking Nur and Baba-jan to fight…show more content…
Like some Afghan refugees have done while traveling, Najmah travels to Peshawar dressed as a boy because it would be safer than traveling as a woman without a close male relative. When Najmah begins to travel with Akhtar and Khalida, Akhtar says “‘You will be safer dressed as a boy traveling through strange areas’” (Staples 85). Because of safety issues, Najmah takes on the personality and appearance of a boy. Under the Taliban’s rules in Afghanistan, women are not allowed to leave the house and go out in public unless they are accompanied by a close male relative (Celerier). Najmah does not have a close male relative that she can travel to Peshawar with so she dresses as a boy so she will not be punished if they are caught by the Taliban. When Najmah starts dressing as a boy, she becomes almost a different person and she feels that she needs to stay that person to get what she needs and wants. After Najmah loses her mother and Habib, she does not speak and she becomes a shell of who she was before. When she is traveling with Akhtar, Khalida and the other refugees she says, “ I feel as if my tongue has been locked inside my mouth since the moment I saw my mother airing the quilts just before the bombs fell" (Staples 88). The change of Najmah to Shaheed causes…show more content…
Nusrat knows that she must return to New York because according to the law in Pakistan, women cannot live and work in Pakistan without a husband or another male relative. Nusrat loves living in Pakistan with her husband’s family but when talking to her sister in-law she says, "’without a husband I'm afraid the Pakistani government wouldn't allow me to live here, much less run the school’" (Staples 237). Nusrat wishes she could stay in Pakistan but it would be very difficult as a single woman. In Pakistan, while it is not illegal to live on your own as a single woman, it is very difficult and nearly impossible (UK Visas). Nusrat knows this which is what forces her to think about returning to New York even though it might be easier to ignore her grief and pain if she stayed in Pakistan. Knowing that she will have to return to New York cause Nusrat to think about how her parents are doing and how she can return to New York and still be Muslim and have faith in her religion. Nusrat notices how the loss of Faiz is affecting her mother-in-law and begins to think about her own parents losing her. "'I've been thinking about my parents,' she says. 'For them my converting to Islam was a little as if I'd died'"

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