By including this hidden meaning behind the characters, Hosseini actually uses them as a way to give perspective as to just how oppressive the Mujahideen actually was, and how much of a shock it must have been to women. From Babi you can see how Afghanistan was at one time a good place for women
In both Osama and A 1000 Splendid Suns the female protagonists live a patriarchal society enforced by the Taliban. Examples of how a patriarchal society is established and shown in Osama and A 1000 Splendid Suns is through the idea of polygamy and the fact that men are allowed to abuse their wives. In a community that is driven by males, men have many more rights than women. For example, men are allowed to practice polygamy. In Osama, the family had already lost their husbands and male relatives, but at the end of the movie, the daughter is married off to an elderly man, whom when she is taken back to his home, has many wives who despise him stating that he, “ruined their lives” (Osama). In A 1000 Splendid Suns, Laila and Mariam were both Rasheed’s wives. When Laila had been added to the mix, Mariam was defensive of Rasheed saying to Laila, “I wouldn’t have fed you and washed you and nursed you if I’d known you were going to turn around and steal my husband” (226). The second example of how a patriarchal society is expressed through both A Thousand Splendid Suns and Osama is through the abuse the women face from their husbands and other men in the society they live in. In Osama, the daughter was hung by her torso above a well when they were suspicious about her gender (Osama). In A 1000 Splendid Suns, abuse is something Laila and Mariam face
In Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, many characters are forced to overcome obstacles in their personal lives. Laila and Mariam, the two main characters, find themselves married to the same man, Rasheed. Both had a good relationship with Rasheed at the beginning of their marriages. Soon they found that they were both being abused by Rasheed. Mariam and Laila overcome the abuse by taking matters into their own hands. Khaled Hosseini introduces the reader to the ways many Muslim men and women believe that marriages should be private and that how the man treats his wife or wives is his business. Many relationships find themselves trying to overcome an abusive marriage.
For many years, women have been oppressed and treated as property. The opinion of a woman did not matter, being obedient to her husband was all that is required. Even if they were obedient to their husbands, women were property and only for the pleaser and likening to the husband. Mariam did all the her husband required of her, however there was one thing should could not. Which was give her husband, Rasheed, a son or any child. In the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, Hosseini reveals the social issue of physical abuse and mental abuse by his use of imagery, diction, and dialogue.
These laws that limit the freedom of women within the country give men more freedom, which leads to abuse in Mariam and Laila’s family. Rasheed is physically and mentally abusive towards both of his wives, and because of this, the women attempt to run away, only to be sent back home by police. The reaction from Rasheed shows that he knows he holds the power: “‘You try this again and I will find you. I swear on the Prophet’s name that I will find you. And, when I do, there isn’t a court in this godforsaken country that will hold me accountable for what I will do.’” (Hosseini 272). Rasheed’s threats are serious; many times, the verbal abuse escalates into physical harm towards his family. Moreover, without any support from the Taliban, the women are forced to obey their husband and sustain his
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
He was an abusive man that constantly beat them. He despised Mariam more at times because she couldn't give him children. He would beat her just because of it or anything else he believed to be wrong she did. The taliban did not allow women to be in public without a man. The taliban were harsh cruel people who would find a simple reason to kill somebody. They turned the pure Muslim religion into something cruel and imposed it on the people. Women were less than men. Hosseini displays domestic violence in the lives of these two women and it's unusual as a man is realizing the horrible mistreatment and unfairness towards women in Afghanistan. Men were the head of the household and that's why Rasheed could do what he wanted.There was no equality there and as time passed by in that household, there was nothing but cruelty there for Mariam and Laila. Its as if they were punished for simply being
Rape happens to many women, including Mariam and Laila. They never say no when he wants sex because that will set him off and they will get abused. It’s a terrible cycle. Women are always expected to cater to a man’s needs. Another cultural difference is violence of the Taliban. They make a rise in the middle of the novel and continue to get worse. Women’s few rights are shaved down to literally nothing when the Taliban take control of Afghanistan. Laila loses her parents in an explosion caused by the Taliban. No one is criminalized for it. Soon after Laila and Rasheed’s marriage, the Taliban force the women of Afghanistan to stay inside. Literally. If they leave their house without a male presence, they get violently abused and sent home. Laila tries to visit her daughter in the orphanage that Rasheed sent her to, and a young Taliban member slashes her numerous times with a car antenna. The concept of young children fighting for one’s country is peculiar. Taliban also ban women from working and going to school. They shut down every woman’s school to make offices for themselves. When Laila goes into labor, Rasheed rushes her to a hospital, which no longer sees women. The Taliban are responsible for that. They then go to a woman’s hospital and they reject her as well. Finally they find a hospital
Khaled Hosseini illustrates the abuse in A Thousand Splendid Suns with vivid detail. Rasheed, Laila’s husband, is the perpetrator of this abuse and cruelty. From the beginning, Rasheed is directly characterized as “a tall man, thick-bellied and broad-shouldered” (Hosseini 52) with a “big, square, ruddy face; the hooked nose; the flushed cheeks that gave the impression of sly cheerfulness; the watery, bloodshot eyes; the crowded teeth…” (53) This menacing image of a man gives some hint at Rasheed’s future wickedness. His cruelty is revealed when he is upset with his first wife Mariam’s cooking, and he exerts his power over her: “his powerful hands clasped her jaw. He shoved two fingers into her mouth and pried it open, then forced the cold, hard pebbles into it… ‘CHEW!’ he bellowed… Then he was gone, leaving Mariam
The writing style of Khaled Hosseini in A Thousand Splendid Suns is both sympathetic and disgusted. He feels pity on those that bear the burden of the war. He shows this mostly through the use of two major literary devices: Symbolism and Imagery. These two literary devices impact the reader because it gives a deeper insight and understanding of the pain and fear these characters were forced into dealing with every day.
Throughout world history women have been treated abysmally. Societies with male-dominance have abused and used women and continue to do so today. Women have been made vulnerable to a man due to the spread of cultural values and beliefs in society that condemn them from power. In Khaled Hosseini's novel A Thousand Splendid Suns, the two main characters Mariam and Laila develop an unconditional bond in which they become each others protectors. The immense inner strength of women from adversity has been exemplified through the growth of Mariam and Laila's contrasting relationship, the pain they endure from Rasheed which strengthens their bond and the courage within them that ultimately resolves their conflict.
One cultural facet of Afghanistan that really stood out was what controlling husbands do to their “unimportant” wives which Hosseini was quite candid about. Firstly, in one example, Rasheed is so upset with Mariam’s cooking, that he goes out, brings some pebbles in, and forces her to chew on them until her molars crack (Hosseini 94). This scene shows that husbands were in complete control in nearly every household, and the wives could not do anything. Secondly, when Laila and Rasheed are having an argument about what to do with their daughter Aziza (because they have become poor and it is hard to support all of them as it is), Rasheed becomes extremely infuriated and puts the barrel of his gun down Laila’s throat (Hosseini 267). After reading this, one can easily infer that in a controlling relationship, especially in Afghanistan, the husband can literally do whatever
Hosseini makes it very apparent that honour is extremely important to people in the Afghan culture and what others think of them means a lot. An Afghan would do anything to keep their honour, even if it means they are unhappy. In both novels, Hosseini shows a number of examples of dishonour and the negative impacts it can have to an individual’s well-being. According to the Honour Based Violence Network, In Afghanistan, ‘honour’ crimes remain very high along with many other forms of violence against women, and are increasing as attitudes fail to keep pace with economic and social changes.
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