I remember how it was painful to hear that some people lost someone close because of a bomb. In Khaled Hosseini’s novel A Thousand Splendid Suns, the narrator shows how Mariam and Laila endure living with their violent husband, Rasheed. They get used to the struggles and hardships that they go through. Mariam struggles in her life after her mother’s suicide that causes a big turning point in her life. Her father forces her to marry Rasheed, a man almost double her age.
Mariam later opens her eyes and realizes that Laila isn't an enemy and forgives Laila for trying to get her thrown out. Mariam allowing herself to forgive Laila leads to a bond that helps Mariam find meaning in their lives (250). Laila seems to have a better life than Mariam, but that all changes when Laila's parents are killed by a rocket. Laila was not mistreated as bad as Mariam was but still wasn't loved as much as her brothers were. Lailas mom loved her sons and once they were killed Mammy became distant towards Laila.
The author expertly describes events Laila and Mariam encountered within their everyday lives that has either affected them or helped them progress and deal with the modern rules for women rooted within Afghanistan. The novel starts by introducing Mariam, in the beginning, she’s a self-conscious young lady with a mother who is despicable and suffers from depression.Her father has entirely different family and shuns her when she tries to be indulged in his life. Mariam is the banished child, due to Nana and Jalil having intercourse while unmarried, resulting in Mariam being illegitimate. At a young age, she was forced to marry a severely abusive man named
Laila and Mariam find their identity through loving others and feeling love back through horrid situations. Firstly, Mariam finds love in Laila and her children. Mariam states to Laila,“‘Kiss Aziza for me. Tell her she is the noor of my eyes and the sultan of my heart.’” (Hosseini 359). All of Mariam’s life she’s been labelled a harami, a illegitimate being but finds herself a new life full of warmth and satisfaction through loving Aziza and Mariam.
Rasheed treated Mariam as property instead of an actual spouse. Mariam had no voice of her own, Rasheed controlled every aspect of her life, from what she wore to where she went. Mariam could not carry out a pregnancy causing Rasheed to build anger against Mariam, this led Rasheed to lash out and abuse her. Mariam dealt with endless beatings from Rasheed, over the simplest mistakes, because she was too afraid to stand up for herself or leave Rasheed. “It wasn’t easy tolerating him talking this way to her, to bear his scorn, his ridicule, his insults, his walking past her like she was nothing but a house cat.
It moves the reader’s inner conscience as the novel revolves through wars, struggle between the family members and starvation. The story starts with Mariam Jo’s introduction as a five year old girl, who eagerly waits for her father, Jalil Khan, who visits her only on every Thursday. Her only companion was her mother Nana, who was molested in the hands of Jalil Khan and decided to lead a secluded life away from the prying eyes. Nana hates her distressful life and shows her agony by calling Mariam as harami, though the girl doesn’t understand the meaning of it. Even though she wasn’t the legitimate heir as her nine siblings, Jalil was a true hero in her eyes as she was always happy with him.
In Kabul Laila rebuilds her life with her family and becomes a school teacher in the same orphanage where her daughter once lived. Laila becomes pregnant again and in honor of Miriam she decides that it the baby is girl she will give her the name of
The protagonist Mariam is a poor villager who lives in a remote area in Afghanistan, in contrast to Laila who is a smart, educated daughter of a schoolteacher. Khaled Hosseini has an interesting way of portraying the two female protagonists. He discloses the tyranny and hostility that the Taliban enforce on women just because of their sex. A critic viewed the novel as ‘a powerful portrait of female suffering’ making the reader explicitly aware of the harsh environment Mariam and Laila had to tolerate. One review expressed that ‘Hosseini defends the rights of women to decide what to be in life’ , this could show that Hosseini directed the novel to be in favour of feminist views.
From this, Rasheed makes a decision that seals his fate and legacy even after his death. In the novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Rasheed’s life altering decision to kill Laila for showing herself to Tariq led to his death and separation from his only son. Throughout his marriage with Laila and Mariam, Rasheed often displayed acts of violence and abuse. However, he never went as far as considering to kill one of them. When Rasheed pressures Zalmai to tell him where Laila was with the man, he tells Rasheed what he knows.
At just the age fifteen, she was forced into a arranged marriage. One night Mariam experiences a traumatic event, she is raped by Rasheed. “Her hands clenched the sheets in fistfuls. He rolled on top of her, wriggled and shifted, and she let out a whimper. Mariam closed her eyes, gritted her teeth”(pg.