A Thousand Splendid Suns Analysis

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In the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns, the author Khaled Hosseini gives two very different examples of women raised in a third world country. The book takes place in Afghanistan, starting in the mid to late 1900’s and coming to an end in about the year 2000. The two protagonists of the book, Mariam and Laila, are women who are brought up in two different environments. Mariam’s life is explored in the beginning of the book as being raised as an uneducated outcast who grew up in a small kolba on the outskirts of Herat. She had a mentally ill mother and an absent father, who would occasionally visit but only offer discouragement. Laila also grew up with a mentally ill mother, but had a stable, present father that was there to offer support and encouragement. Her father not only allowed her to receive an education, but empowered her to do so. It is highlighted throughout the novel how the upbringing and home environment of two young women can affect the woman that they eventually will become. In the first part of the book, the reader is introduced to Mariam. She is portrayed as a young girl with a mentally ill mother, Nana, and an absent father, Jalil. Mariam was raised on the outer edge of Herat and was not only a societal outcast, but also an outcast of her own family. She is denied an education and Nana makes that clear to her throughout her childhood, insisting that there would be nothing to gain from it and tells Mariam that she needs to endure whatever hardships were

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