A Thousand Splendid Suns Analysis

Decent Essays
A Thousand Splendid Suns, written by Khalid Hosseini explores themes relating to hardships and family, especially having to do with the oppression of women. This novel follows the lives of Mariam and Laila, two Afghan women whose interactions arise from their forced marriage to Rasheed, and the abuse they face together. Mariam is the illegitimate daughter of Jalil, a rich businessman, and his former housekeeper, Nana. Struggling with the stigma surrounding her birth and guilt following her mother’s suicide prompts Mariam to be unable to stand up for herself. Laila is quite the opposite and grew up with the desire for an education and the knowledge that she could change the world. After her parents and Tariq’s deaths, Laila is forced to set…show more content…
The forced marriage between Mariam and Rasheed represents the oppression that women experienced in Afghanistan. Mariam's father and his wives arrange for Mariam to marry Rasheed, leaving Mariam with no say in the matter. The marriage that joins Mariam and Rasheed together is tainted by horrible mental, physical and sexual abuse. There are horrible dangers that arise from an arranged marriage, especially in Afghanistan where men view women primarily as child bearers. Married wanted to so badly to have not been forced into marriage, she was homesick and scared, “Her teeth rattled when she thought of the night, the time when Rasheed might, at last, decide to do to her what husbands did to their wives” (Hosseini 57). Laila was also forced into marriage with Rasheed, however, the circumstances differed. Laila was given a choice whether to enter into the marriage, but it was essentially life or death. Marrying Rasheed was the only way she and Tariq’s baby would ever survive. Rasheed was abusive to both Mariam and Laila. While he had once worshipped them, after not giving him the son he always wanted he no longer cared for them and began a cycle of horrible abuse. He treated them horribly, to which they could do little about, “there isn’t a court in this g-dforsaken country that will hold me accountable for what I will do.”(Hosseini 243) Rasheed says to Laila in reference
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