Ryan Ferkel Mrs. Reader Exploring Fiction 1/2/13 Literary Analysis of A Thousand Splendid Suns Growing up and living in Afghanistan as a woman has its challenges. Parents choose who can marry you and they choose everything for you. In this book, Laila and Mariam both show the struggles it is to be a girl, and how much disrespect they get in Afghanistan. Both Mariam and Laila are married to the same man, and he is abusive to both of them. They also live under Taliban rule, and the rules that they set are very unfair for women.
In Khaled Hosseni’s novel, he has many different themes but the most prevalent one is of woman inequality, and that is shown through multiple accounts of abuse, disrespect, and unfairness. While living in Afghanistan, Laila and Mariam both find themselves with little freedoms. They had to stay in their houses almost all the time, and were pretty much slaves to their husbands. For the rest of Afghanistan, The freedoms for girls and women are limited or not even existent in some situations.
During September of 1996, the Taliban came into control of Afghanistan. Early in there rule, they set down rules for both men and woman. As a man you only had simple rules like, “All men will grow their beards” and, “All boys will wear turbans” (248 Hosseini). But as a woman, they had rules like, “Girls are forbidden from attending school,” and “Women are forbidden from working” (249 Hosseini). Women were also not allowed to go outside without a man or they would be beaten and sent home (248). As rules normally do they cause rebellious people.
As the book progresses we find out that Laila had to give up her kid to an orphanage because Rasheed and Laila could not provide for that many of people any more. As a desperate mom, Laila had to sneak to the orphanage because Rasheed would no longer take her. Many times she got caught, when she got caught, Laila was sometimes, “riddled with questions” but other times she had to deal with, “wooden clubs, fresh tree branches, short whips, slaps, often fists” (285 Hosseini). As women, Laila’s freedoms were limited and Khaled Hosseini was ertain to show the struggles that women had because of that. Another example of the unfairness to women is that fact, that men are also abusive to them. Being a man, means they have all the power. They make all the decisions and what they want to happen happens. Early in the book, Jalil, Mariam’s father, chooses a random suitor for her to marry. He forces it on her just to get her as far away from his family as possible. Her suitor ended up to be an abusive husband. Just in a matter of seconds, Rasheed, their husband would flip and turn abusive.
As depicted early in their marriage, Khaled Hosseini wrote, “He was like this, sneering, tightening the belt around his fist, the creaking of the leather, the glint in his bloodshot eyes. It was the fear of the goat, released in the tiger’s cage, when the tiger first looks up from its paws, begins to growl” (216). Another time when Laila and Mariam try to escape Rasheed’s grasps, they both get caught and get sent back to him. Mariam took most of the punishment for leaving. “There was a sound now like a wooden club repeatedly slapping a side of beef. His abusiveness led them to leave but only brought them back to it. As women they have no power in the relationship. Eventually Rasheed’s abuse came back to bite him, and it led to his death. Mariam had enough of his abuse. “Mariam brought down the shovel. This time, she gave it everything she had” (310 Hosseini). Rasheed tried everything in his power to stop Mariam and Laila from rebelling and it led to his death. Being a woman in Afghanistan meant you had to deal with discrimination. Khaled Hosseini made it a point to show that in his novel.
Early in the novel we find out that Nana and Mariam living in the Kolba. They are there because her dad, Jalil, would not accept them in the family because they were a harami. A harami is a baby that was born out of wedlock. Because of this Jalil could not have them live with him and the rest of his family. “’You can’t spend the rest of your life here. ’ ‘Don’t you want a family of your own? ’” (44 Hosseini). Jalil wanted to get her out of their family so he could seem like the amazing guy he thought he was.