I am Malala Story Review: Why Success Often Takes Time

English 101

Essay Prompt: “Explain why success often takes time.”The essay includes the main ideas and themes of the book, the main characters and their struggles, quotes from the book (at least 3-5), and an explanation of how the author organizes and presents the information and story.

I am Malala Success Story

Success implies a person’s hard work on constant improvement by continually pushing new boundaries externally and internally. Society often does not focus on the efforts it takes to be successful. People live in an instant gratification community, where one knows what they want and wishes to get it immediately. Nevertheless, few individuals are willing to put in the effort to attain their aspirations. Malala Yousafzai demonstrates, in her story, I am Malala, that it does not matter how old or young one is; anyone can be successful and bring about change (Yousafzai, 2013). Importantly, the action that a person takes to be successful is valuable. The central ideas and themes in the story, I am Malala, which demonstrate why success often takes time, include perseverance and persistence.

Perseverance entails the commitment to doing something regardless of delay or difficulty in attaining success. It is a critical element when one aspires to achieve a high level of success. Perseverance is a vital theme from the start of Malala’s story. She narrates about her father, Ziauddin, as a man who, despite harsh realities, persists through hardship. For example, Malala describes that although her grandfather refused to support her dad’s college pursuit, her father persevered. Moreover, after finishing college, Ziauddin refused to give up when he found it challenging to operate a school. Specifically, Ghulamullah, who referred to himself as a mufti, implying that he has authority on Islamic law and is an Islamic scholar, accused Ziauddin of operating a forbidden school.

The story of Malala’s success is incredible, given that she was raised in a community where being female is a challenge. Despite this problem, she persevered and publicly stood up for her beliefs. Malala’s dream of getting an education began to slip away when the Taliban started to close schools by bombing many of them throughout the Swat Valley region in Pakistan (Pramesti & Widayanti, 2019). Many girls were intimidated into staying at home, but Malala, just 11 years old at the time and a devout Muslim, defiantly continued to attend classes. Malala asserts that “despite being scared, the fear was not as resilient as their courage” (Yousafzai, 2013). Success, in this regard, takes time because advocating for doing new things as Malala did is bound to face resistance. Malala has shown that those who stand up for their beliefs through perseverance can attain something higher than inspiring others to take action on their behalf.

Persistence, as the other main theme of the book, denotes obstinacy or strong patience in the course of action regardless of the opposition or difficulty. Success requires persistence since it takes time. Malala realized that her aspirations, struggles, and life made the most compelling story (Pramesti & Widayanti, 2019). In this way, she demonstrates that people should not recount their experiences for publicity. It should be done to inspire and grab people’s attention to join the cause. Malala argued that “dialogue is the best way to fight against war and solve problems” (Yousafzai, 2013). The specifics of their endeavors often occupy people who forget to convey why they are significant in the first place. Being persistent is one of the best ways to get the message across. Hence, success requires persistence because one would go through plenty of trial and error, practice, criticism, and humility.

Toor Pekai, Malala’s mother, also proved to be persistent. She believes in the word of the Quran and God. She channels spirituality to a young girl in a violent nation through both. Toor prays when all seems lost. Malala notes at the end of the story that her mother spends hours praying for her, encouraging Malala’s dad that she will live. The Taliban is also a character that outlines Malala’s personality based on the idea of determination. Since she is unapologetically herself, Malala’s messages resonate with authenticity, one element all successful people require (Alexander, 2019). All in all, the Taliban generates fear, and Malala’s persistence is born through this terror.

Lastly, success often takes time because people fail to focus on achieving their goals. Malala consistently advocates for the right to education for every child. She asserts that “she does not want retaliation on the Taliban, but wants their sons and daughters to be educated” (Yousafzai, 2013). It is not that Malala is disconnected from her emotions, a pushover, or a saint, but she is aware that hating her enemies and stewing in anger will not help a single child go to school (Sadaf, 2017). The self-awareness enabled her to channel her passion from what matters and prevented her from misdirecting her energy. Individuals who take on a big challenge will experience intricate troubles that lead to emotions such as despair, depression, and anger. However, as Malala demonstrates, anyone who wants to succeed must try not to submit to the emotions that threaten to destabilize them. Therefore, it is not that any specific feeling is inherently bad or good since even despair or anger can sometimes produce decisive action when one is persistent.

In her story, Malala presents and organizes information in the first person to convey her point of view. The narrative is centered on her personal experience and those of her family. As a result of the nature of her story, she also integrates political and historical contexts. It is also a vivid and riveting account of the Taliban’s attacks and the dismay they brought (Olesen, 2016). Finally, the readers become aware that Taliban terrorism cannot intimidate Malala into conceding.

In summary, Malala has a list of accomplishments that appear to outpace her years. She is young, powerful, and influential. Persistence and perseverance are two themes that permeate the story. The two ideas are the most common motif as to why success often takes time. The entire narrative shows Malala’s persistence in pushing society’s expectations and continuing learning. The story of her family is also that of perseverance. Her father worked through different failed schools before operating a successful one. Her mother is consistent, religious, and spiritual. Finally, Malala perseveres, recovers, and thrives even after being shot by the Taliban.


Alexander, K. P. (2019). Forwarding literacy in I Am Malala: Resisting commodification through cooperation, context, and kinship. College English81(3), 183-213.

Olesen, T. (2016). Malala and the politics of global iconicity. The British Journal of Sociology67(2), 307-327. DOI: 10.1111/1468-4446.12195

Pramesti, P., & Widayanti, M. J. A. (2019). I am Malala: A woman’s struggle for her rights in education. Celt: A Journal of Culture, English Language Teaching & Literature19(1), 189-201. DOI: 10.24167/celt.v19i1.2172

Sadaf, S. (2017). I Am Malala: Human rights and the politics of production, marketing, and reception of the Post-9/11 Memoir. Interventions19(6), 855-871. doi: 10.1080/1369801x.2017.1347053

Yousafzai, M. (2013). I am Malala: The girl who stood up for education and was shot by the Taliban. Little, Brown.

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Published On: 01-01-1970

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