Symbolism In A Thousand Splendid Suns

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Hakim Laila’s feminist identity was influenced by her father, Hakim. Hakim is mostly referred to as Babi in the novel. Babi was a high school teacher, in other word, an intellectual. Intelligence is devalued by the majority in their society, therefore being a teacher makes Babi an extraordinary person in the novel. Since Fariba, Laila’s mother, was distanced from her, Laila had a special bond with her father. Babi’s doctrine of the importance of education was implanted into Laila. “I know you’re still young, but I want you to understand and learn this now. Marriage can wait, education cannot. You’re a very, very bright girl. Truly, you are. You can be anything you want, Laila. I know this about you. And I also know that when this…show more content…
In the progressive modern world, the ancient mindset of men’s superiority exists in many societies. Women who are opposed to such ideology are, in some cases, perceived as rebellious when words such as feminism has come to acknowledgement for over a century. Through the struggles that the characters of A Thousand Splendid Suns faced in the patriarchal Afghani culture, Khaled Hosseini delivers his feminist ideas. For her whole life, Nana endured the troubles given by men, and she is one of the “fallen female warrior” of the novel because she fought against the oppression and lost, due to the unfortunate circumstances of her life. Mariam also suffered the torments imposed on her by the men in her life, sharing a similar fate as her mother, Nana, in a way. Nevertheless, Mariam is not a fallen warrior but a victor. Contrasting from Nana, Mariam fought her battle with resistance rather than endurance. She broke free of the oppressive culture and realized her self-worth in the end. Fariba is one of first non-submissive females of the novel and was portrayed as the woman with a progressive mindset. However, after a long time of struggling against the society and the loss of her two sons in addition to that, her role as an ideal feminist challenger is no longer dominant. Much like Mariam, Laila is a victor. The difference between Mariam and Laila is Laila has been defying the norms of the culture throughout her life, unlike Mariam, who was submissive for the early years of her lifetime. Laila represents a hope for woman in the male dominated culture, as she goes on to escape from her abusive husband, finds happiness, pursues education, and contributes back to the society postwar. The male characters are also notable to observe from the novel because the patriarchal society, as well as for the comparison purpose. Hakim, Laila’s father, has an advanced
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