Mariam As A Christ Figure In A Thousand Splendid Suns

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What makes one willing enough to sacrifice her own life for others? How difficult can it be to willingly die for what one believes? What does it take to be a Christ-figure? Khaled Hosseini emphasizes the concept of sacrifice in A Thousand Splendid Suns. In this novel, Hosseini presents Mariam as a Christ-figure through her qualities and sacrifice. Hosseini gives Mariam many Christ-like qualities in the novel like forgiveness. Like Jesus, Mariam shows forgiveness in the novel towards Jalil when she reflects “he’d not been a good father, it was true, but how ordinary his faults seemed now, how forgivable, when compared to Rasheed’s malice” (309). Mariam reveals that she knows Jalil has faults and that they seem easily forgivable compared to the…show more content…
In the novel Mariam sacrifices her life for Laila and also her freedom for Jalil. Like Jesus, Mariam willingly sacrificed herself and when she descended from the truck to be killed, her “legs did not buckle. Her arms did not flail. She did not have to be dragged.”(369). Mariam sacrifices her freedom for Jalil by marrying Rasheed. In the novel, when the wives told Mariam they found a suitor for her, she tells Jalil to say something and he says “‘Mariam don’t do this to me’”(49). Even though Mariam did not want to marry Rasheed, she knew Jalil wanted her to and so she did, forever surrendering her freedom to him. Marrying Rasheed deprived Mariam of her freedom because when Rasheed tells Mariam “‘a woman’s face is her husband’s business only’”(70), it indicates that she is his and he controls her. Not only does Rasheed saying this indicate her deprivation of freedom, but also when Rasheed makes Mariam wear a burqa she loses the right to show her own face. Mariam describes the burqa as “tight and heavy…[and] suffocating”(72). This symbolizes that his controlling grip on her is tight and heavy and that their marriage is suffocating. In A Thousand Splendid Suns, Mariam is presented as a Christ figure in a Muslim society through her humble and forgiving qualities and the sacrifice of her life and freedom. When Hosseini wrote this novel, many people were stereotypical of Muslims. Hosseini presented Mariam this way to show the readers that although people may have different beliefs, they are not as different as one would
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