Mariam: A Legitimate End to a Life of Illegitimate Belongings

Decent Essays

“Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. You remember that, Mariam” (Hosseini 11). Mariam, a child born out of wedlock, grew up lacking the genuine love she yearned for. Despite everything, her mother told her, she believed that her father, Jalil, meant the best for her. That was until she made the shocking discovery on her own; he actually wanted to get rid of her. Pressured by his many wives, Jalil forces Mariam to marry an abusive shoemaker. As the last tear rolls down her cheek, she starts to understand the hardships that her mother went through. Emotionally neglected, they left her alone to live in a two-story house in Kabul; this becomes a life changing experience. On her journey …show more content…

This shows how Mariam did not let oppression turn her mind against those who were close to her. In those tough times however, she still looked at the bigger picture. She turned herself in, took the blames, and paid for the crimes. Additionally, Mariam is courageous. When Mariam sees that Rasheed had the intention of killing Laila, she takes matters into her own hands. A typical woman during the Taliban era would be much too afraid to even think of touching their husband without permission. While Rasheed was choking Laila, she scratches Rasheed and ends his life ultimately with a shovel. She then sacrifices her life by turning herself to protect Laila and her children instead of fleeing out of the country with Laila. She accepted her fate and her consequences of being the inferior gender even if she felt that it was not just. “No. It was not so bad, Mariam thought, that she should die this way. This was a legitimate end to a life of illegitimate belonging” (Hosseini 359). In other words, she did not keep what she did as a secret. She was proud to die for what she did. In the end, Mariam contradicts the expectations of women in her culture through her acts of courageousness and her endurance through hardships. Mariam never cam from a family that supported the prominence of women; she was an illegitimate product of an outcast. Realizing the power of her accomplice, Laila, she risked her own life because she

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