A Thousand Splendid Suns By Khaled Hosseini

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A Thousand Splendid Suns is an historical fiction novel, written by Khaled Hosseini, set in Afghanistan during the late 1960’s to early 2000’s. It follows the life of Mariam, a ‘harami’ child, who experiences the twisted reality of polygamy first hand. Hosseini explores thought provoking ideas in a society where gender inequality and poorly valued education is the normality. Hosseini’s main purpose is to show the importance of differing perspectives, as well as how to discern between the right and wrong ones.
A key theme that almost instantly emerged from the text as I began to read was gender equality – or the lack thereof. I am passionate about equality between the genders and the further I read the more unequal the characters were
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The Women’s March was a worldwide protest aimed to advocate not only women’s rights, but all human rights, health care and other topical issues. I personally believe that this protest was one of the most empowering of all time, showcasing the incredible power found in a united front of people. Not only independent, strong female ‘feminists’, but also men who believe equal opportunities are deserved by all. As Emma Watson, famous actress and feminism advocate, once said, “It is time that we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals”. This quote from such an inspiring woman came to the surface as I read this book, because it holds such truth applicable to A Thousand Splendid Suns. It successfully reinforces this novel’s main theme of gender inequality.
An interesting idea that A Thousand Splendid Suns addressed was the importance of education. Khaled Hosseini seemed to be suggesting that in Mariam’s world there is no use in a girl getting an education. We see this in the text when Mariam expresses her interest to Nana about going to school. Nana says, “You’ll learn nothing of value in those schools. There is only one, only one skill a woman like you and me needs in life. And it’s this: Endure”. This shows us how education is valued in another culture, in this case, in Afghanistan. I like how Hosseini has linked the themes of gender and education closely together, as it supports the characters’ actions and perspectives common to the Afghani people
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