Summary Of ' A Thousand Splendid Suns '

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The plot of A Thousand Splendid Suns revolves around two protagonists: Laila and Mariam. Most of the story’s characters are round, but Mariam and Laila are exceptionally complex. Mariam is a harami, a bastard, that leaves her mother, Nana, in order to live with Jalil, her father. Jalil rejects her, and Jalil and Mariam later regret the decisions that they made at that point in their lives. Mariam is a quiet, thoughtful, and kind woman who was born in Herat, and her face has been described as long, triangular, and houndlike. She is forced into marriage at the age of fifteen with a much older suitor named Rasheed who abuses her brutally once he learns that she cannot provide him with children. She is also revealed as a very dynamic character early in the story. Mariam quickly develops a mistrust toward men, and she realizes that her mother had been right all along. Another example of a significant change Mariam goes through is the animosity she feels toward Laila that quickly transforms into their friendship when “a look passed between Laila and Mariam. An unguarded, knowing look. And in this fleeting, wordless exchange with Mariam, Laila knew they were not enemies any longer.” (page 250). Later in the story, Mariam, who was a forty-two-year-old woman at that time, is executed by the Taliban for murder.

Laila, one of the female protagonists, is an outspoken, headstrong, and affectionate girl who was born in Kabul. She has blonde hair and green eyes, and she falls
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