In Khaled Hosseini's novel 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' he presents the different aspects of Mariams childhood through the interactions she has with the people in her life. Her interactions with Nana show the effects if being raised a harami, with Jalil show her isolation and her naive attitude, with Mullah Faizullah her piety and with Jalil's wives the reality of her poverty and low social status. This collates to portray a miserable childhood, with religion (and Mullah Faizullah) as her only source of comfort and happiness.
Zunaira actually attains her goal of becoming a magistrate, and thus, she experiences a greater sensation of loss. Mariam and Zunaira combat the oppression in different ways but they suffer the same pain and isolation. Oppression induces a negative change in both characters. In addition, the women have coping mechanisms to deal with the sorrow in their lives. Their ability to cope is affected by family members. Mariam remembers her mother's story, "where each snowflake was a sigh heaved by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the World. That all the sighs drifted up in the sky, gathered in the clouds, and then broke into tiny pieces…" (Hosseini, 91). Mariam is submissive in her abusive relationship because her mother has taught her by example, that Afghani women solely have to endure the pain and suffering in their lives. She makes no attempts to change her situation in her marriage because she lives by her mother's teachings. Perhaps, if Mariam were to stand up for herself or stir up chaos during one of Rasheed's beatings, Rasheed would not turn to violence against her so easily. Also, Mariam could have searched for alternatives to escape Rasheed before the Taliban implemented the harsh laws. Over the years, Mariam becomes increasingly helpless and miserable under Rasheed's rule, as she follows the model of her mother's teachings. Also, she deflects her anger and sorrow 2
Mothers make a variety of sacrifices in their lives. The risks taken by mothers can come in many different forms; they can be physical, emotional and spiritual. The majority of those sacrifices revolve around taking care of, providing for and protecting their children. In A Thousand Splendid Suns, Laila makes sacrifices for Aziza and Zalmai, Nana risks things in her life for Mariam, and Mariam sacrifices things for Laila and her children. In A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini explores the aspect of sacrifice taken by mothers. Women will go to extreme lengths of sacrifice in order to ensure the safety of their children.
As children both Mariam and Laila suffered from mental abuse from their parents. In Mariam's life, her father was ashamed of her because she was a harami and her mother saw her as a burden. Her mother would make her feel like she was less than a person by calling Mariam a bastard, when she did Mariam “..understood then what Nana meant, that a harami was an unwanted thing; that she...was an illegitimate person who could never have legitimate claim over things...such as love, family, home, acceptance.."(Hosseini, 4). This was something that has affected Mariam throughout the novel. It was until Aziza came into her life and made her realize that what she was told when she was little was incorrect. This use of diction made the reader realize how heartbreaking it was for Mariam to hear those words from her mother. Laila on the other hand was severely neglected. After being bullied by the neighborhood kids after her mother once again forgot to pick her up from school; Laila believed that people "Shouldn't be allowed to have new children if they'd already given away all their love to their old ones..." (Hosseini, 119) Laila’s mother, Fariba's love for her two oldest boys always put Laila's needs and attention on the end of the list of many things she as a mother should have done. Hosseini's use of diction let the reader know how Laila felt her mother’s neglect more as a child whenever she would want her
She was excited that she still had something of Tariq to hold on to. She loved Aziza with her whole heart, but when she found out she was having another child, Rasheed's child, Laila was not as excited as she was for Aziza because the baby was not made out of love but by force. Laila still knew that she would love Zalmai because she was still her child even though the father was someone she did not want anything to do with. One lesson from Laila's childhood that she applies on her children is to get an education. She especially applies this to Aziza since she is a girl, Miriam and Laila teach her lessons from the Koran. Even though they have to learn in secret since Rasheed forbids them learning in the household. When Laila was younger, her dad emphasized very much that she needed to get an education. At the end of the story, Aziza and Zalmai are able to attend school. Another lesson taught to the children was that they will always be loved. Laila was always told by her father that she was loved very much. Laila translates that onto her children all the time, her and Miriam expresses it throughout the book ever since they were born. Even though Zalmai had the love of his father and Aziza didn't, you could tell that Aziza felt the love from her mom and aunt. Another lesson is to always keep trying, when Laila was younger she knew that her father loved him but her mother never had a real connection with her. But
Much like the country of Afghanistan, characters in A Thousand Splendid Suns carry on through tough times and loss. Mariam and Laila persevere through unhealthy relationships with their mothers, as well as their abusive relationship with Rasheed. Through their character growth throughout the book, they grow into strong individuals. The war that has greatly damaged their country leads them to be able to overcome anything in their lives. Through this character growth, strength and perseverance through tough times proves to be the most prominent and important theme in the
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
Mariam is uncomfortable with this. “‘I… I don’t want this,’ said Mariam, numb with contempt and helplessness. ‘It’s not your decision. It’s hers and mine’” Rasheed bites back in response (Hosseini 214). Mariam knows she has no choice in the matter, so Rasheed and Laila wed. Lala agrees to marry him because she is pregnant with her true love’s baby, but she is told that the father is dead. Rasheed expects Mariam to clean up after Laila, to do anything Laila wishes. Instead, she tells Laila “‘you may be the palace malika and me a dehati, but I won’t take orders from you. You can complain to him and he can slit my throat, but I won’t do it. Do you hear me? I won’t be your servant’” (Hosseini 225). This is the first time she “stated her will so forcefully” in the same way Rasheed does constantly (Hosseini 226). Mariam and Laila coexist in their household peacefully, secretly disdaining Rasheed. After years and years of abuse, Mariam, Laila, and Aziza, Laila’s baby, attempt an escape to Pakistan. They are caught, and when Rasheed finds them, he beats them terribly. Mariam is locked in a shed, and Laila and Aziza are barricaded to their room. No food, no water, and no sunlight for three days. This is the point where both women decide they have had enough, but do nothing about it because they are forbidden to do so. More years pass, more abuse is endured. Eventually, when Tariq, Laila’s first love, shows up at their door, and Rasheed finds out, he decides to beat the women. Laila fights back, but to no avail. At this point, Mariam realizes that he intends to kill. Mariam runs to the same shed she spent three days in, takes a shovel, and kills Rasheed to save her life, Laila’s life, and Laila’s children’s lives. “It occurred to her that this was the first time that she was deciding the course of her own life” when she brought the shovel down on his head (Hosseini 349). She commits
Khaled Hosseini’s critically acclaimed novel A Thousand Splendid Suns, follows two women whose lives intertwine and their fates become connected. Laila is a young girl who falls in love with a man who she cannot be with and is carrying his baby when she marries Rasheed. Rasheed’s first wife, Mariam, is a lovely woman who becomes Laila’s companion in their mutual hatred for the abusive Rasheed. With alternating perspectives, Hosseini gives insight into both women's lives and relays the cruelties they are forced to endure, and how the brutality they face affects their lives, specifically Laila’s, whose motherly instincts allow her to endure much more than otherwise.
Creative Journalist, Namita Singh wrote an informative article that analyzes the behavior of female characters, feminism, and education for the readers of A Thousand Splendid Suns. In this article she explains why Hosseini constantly mentions the desire for young girls to learn and how it can influence their development to become a strong woman. Singh claims that Lalias and MIriam's restrictions to education and liberation also restricts their great potentials throughout the novel (Singh 02).
Ultimately, Mariam and Laila attempt to escape, but fail, which in turn infuriates Rasheed even more. These two women then work together and protect each other, and in due course, kill Rasheed during one of his “ritual” beatings. In the end, Mariam is killed for murdering her husband, and Laila, with her children, Aziza and Zalmai, finds Tariq and marries him; then, together they start their own family. Throughout the course of the story, not only was a passionate, well-written story presented, but also a clear picture of what Afghan culture and its aspects are really like.
Explosions, Death, Loss, Fear- all are great symbols for war in A Thousand Splendid Suns. In this novel, Khaled Hosseini uses tumultuous environments to bring up some of the most interesting characters in the 21st century. The three strongest examples are Laila, Tariq, and Aziza. From losing your parents, to losing your leg, Hosseini uses these types of characters to almost make a connection with them. Because we see weakness in them it truly makes their triumph that much greater. War is a raging bull charging through the lives of many, but for some, it makes them stronger.
In the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, main character Mariam is forced into exile after a horrific set of experiences. After her mother’s suicide, she is removed from her home and is later arranged to marry a random man she never met before. Before her departure, Mariam lived in a “kolba,” a small hut on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan. With no other place to go, she disapprovingly lives with her father for a short period of time before being shipped off to her new husband. Her encounter with exile is almost unbearable, yet she endures and grows into a hardworking and respectable woman. For Mariam, exile is both alienating and enriching; it illuminates how withstanding life’s challenges and learning to overcome them with love will ultimately be beneficial in the end, no matter what happens.
The authors Khaled Hosseini and Kurt Vonnegut write novels of critical acclaim. Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns explores the life of Mariam and her struggles with her husband and society, however, she finds reason to fight through a religious tutor. Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five examines the life of Billy Pilgrim who goes through the bombing of Dresden and is kidnapped by an alien species, the Tralfamadorians, who have him apply a new philosophy. Using traditional techniques, Hosseini constructs Mullah Faizullah, the religious tutor, as a wise mentor. The persona of a hermit guru was used by Vonnegut as a non-traditional guide in the form of the Tralfamadorians in Slaughterhouse-Five. Hosseini uses foreshadowing and a comforting