What Are Gender Roles In A Thousand Splendid Suns

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Many societies are progressing forward to the new era of gender role equality. The long-overlooked notions of women belonging in the kitchen and being unqualified for masculine jobs, are now brought to light for discussion. The words, “feminist” and “feminism”, rose to attention during the discussions of gender equality. It was first officially listed in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1852. Feminism refers to someone who is supportive of equality between the sexes. Although there might have been minor feminist activities throughout history; it was not recognized fully until the early 20th century, which marked the first wave of feminism throughout the world (DeFonza). Gender roles are embedded in many cultures, and to this day some…show more content…
In the book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini portrayed the oppressive nature through the depictions of women’s daily lives, with Mariam and Laila as the major characters, in the Afghani…show more content…
Nana is the mother of Mariam and the mistress of Jalil, a wealthy upper-class Afghani man. Nana was portrayed as the elder woman, who is unsatisfied with her life and resents men for their treatment of women. Through Nana’s banishment from Jalil’s house by Jalil’s wives after she was impregnated by him, Hosseini demonstrated that it was socially and culturally acceptable for men to have several wives but the blame will be put upon the woman if she was to have an affair. Jalil defends himself by accusing Nana of forcing it on him, which led to Nana stating that “Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman” (Hosseini 7). This statement is of significance because later on in the novel, various situations that is relatable to this statement occur. The comparison emphasizes the patriarchal social system of Afghanistan and how the women can never escape the blame put upon by the men. Incapable of circumventing the unjust treatment under the fundamentalist system, Nana turned to one solution – endure. Toward the beginning of the book, Mariam asked for Nana’s approval for her to attend school. Mariam’s request was denied, and Nana responded with “There is only one skill a woman like you and me needs in life… And it’s this tahamul, Endure” (Hosseini 17). That response indicates the women’s condition on several aspects of stringent Afghani
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