A Thousand Splendid Suns Formal Essay
Birds are important symbols in many cultures and for various reasons. They are used as symbols of purity, evil, beauty, and immortality. Kahled Hosseini uses many birds as symbols for the life of Mariam throughout the novel. The wants and actions of Mariam are shown in the birds that Hosseini places throughout the book. These include the freedom of the mockingbird, the parakeets being banned, and a crow, to show how something so innocent and simple, can have an important meaning behind it. A mocking bird is a bird that mocks other birds. It always does whatever it hears even if it’s something that is not very important. A good example of the use of a mocking bird is when Mariam sees a mocking bird as it copies the sounds around it and flies into the clouds. The sky is a place that is far away from all the violence that takes place on the ground where Laila is living. The mocking birds want to fly to the sky since it is the perfect place for them to avoid all this violence. Hosseini writes about mocking birds as he says, “Outside, mockingbirds were singing blithely, and, once in a while, when the songsters took flight, Mariam could see their wings catching the phosphorescent blue moonlight beaming through the clouds.” (Hosseini 218) Hosseini uses the mockingbird as a symbol of freedom, something that Mariam wants more than anything. These times are filled with nothing, but suffering the bird is a good symbol to remind the people of Afghanistan that despite all the bad things that are taking place from this war there is always hope no matter how bad the situation is. Another bird that is shown throughout the novel is the parakeet. The parakeet is a pretty, colorful, and exotic bird that loves to copy what it hears. After the Taliban took over Afghanistan in the novel they made a list of rules that everybody living in the area must follow. One of these laws is explained by the Taliban as he says, “If you keep parakeets, you...
... Jade Nealey
Mariam the Loved
In the book A ThousandSplendidSuns by Khaled Hossieni, the character Mariam changed dramatically throughout the course of her life. Once a dutiful, devoted girl, she became a resentful and fearful woman, too afraid to get close to anything or anyone. That is, until Laila and Aziza opened her heart and helped her to become the loved and strong person she was at the end of her life.
As a young girl, Mariam was a dutiful and devoted daughter to her cruel and neglective parents; mother Nana and father Jalil. She never argued with her mother, always following orders and listening as was expected of her. When Nana talked poorly of Jalil, “She never dared to say to Nana how much she disliked her talking this way about Jalil.” (p.5). Though Mariam preferred her father who always seemed to appreciate Mariam’s presence, Mariam always sought the approval of her mother and was willing to do almost anything to gain her approval. “Once, to please Nana, Mariam even yelled at Muhsin (one of Jalil’s sons), told him he had a mouth shaped like a lizards ass…“ (p.14). However, though Nana constantly told Mariam she blamed her for her terrible life, and showed her unappreciation for Mariam regularly, Mariam continued to be devoted to both her parents. Once, “She spent the night outside Jalil’s house.” (p.34). She was waiting to go watch Pinocchio at the cinema with him as he promised, but was unaware at the time,...
“An heirloom-breaking, clumsy little harami” (Hosseini 4), sets the tone for the beginning of Mariam’s life throughout the novel A ThousandSplendidSuns. Many women are mistreated throughout the novel, but Mariam’s childhood is much tougher because she is a harami, or “bastard child”. Mariam tries to find emotional and physical shelter in her lifetime, but struggles to find it. In the beginning of her life she can’t find emotional shelter from her mother, Nana, so she tries to find shelter from her father, Jalil, but can’t find a connection. She then was forced to marry Rasheed, but can only find physical shelter in him. Later in the novel, she becomes friends with Laila, Rasheed’s second wife, and things start to change for her and she starts to feel wanted when Aziza wants to be held by her.
From the beginning of the novel the reader can see how Mariam is unwanted by her mother. “Of all the daughters I could have had, why did God give me an ungrateful one like you?...you treacherous little harami!” (Hosseini 27). When Nana says this, it shows how she truly feels about Mariam. Nana wishes that Mariam was different and had no love for her father. When Nana tells Mariam this, Mariam starts to feel lonely and unwanted by her mother and she fears talking with her. Mariam enjoys visiting her father Jalil because he...
If we the United States don’t prevent the wars that we provoke or interfere in and spend the same amount of time, money, and effort we share the guilt for the dead who are actually fighting. In other words if we don’t try to stop a war, we are as guilty of murder as the person who is pulling the trigger. Therefore we the people of the United States should not interfere with the problems of other countries.
There are many types of people in our world today who have experienced war and in every way hate the thought of it and those who have not who think that another country joining in to help with their problems might not be such a bad idea, because it would help them possibly better their every day life. In A ThousandSplendidSuns Tariq thought of the United States joining the war and said “It may not be such a bad thing.” The reason that Tariq might not think that it is a bad idea is because even though he has experienced it first hand he might hope that the United states will help the suffering people of his country. In helping to fight against the Taliban who are causing all the trouble in this country. Although Laila does not view the United States joining in the same way she says “Not so bad? People dying? Women, children, old people? Homes destroyed again.” To Laila it would all be the same because she has seen people die and because...
...Fabiha Rahman ENG4U Wednesday, May 25, 2011 Ms.Thornton
It seems that War has found a home in Afghanistan. The people of Afghanistan have
seen three decades of Anti-Soviet Jihad, civil war and Taliban tyranny. They have lived through unimaginable horrors and now, their incredible stories of hope and oppression are being told. In A ThousandSplendidSuns by Khaled Hosseini and The Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra, the women are oppressed by their husbands and society. Mariam is passive and compliant while Zunaira is defiant and angry, yet both suffer the same pain and isolation. Initially, their suffering increases because their anger at being oppressed and tortured is deflected towards the wrong people, people who actually care for them. Through their difficult journeys, their eyes are opened up to the power and beauty of a loving relationship. The loss or gain of such a relationship is the defining factor of whether or not each character finds peace and self-worth. The women in both novels transition from a state of being hopeful to complete desolation due to the oppression in their lives. Initially, Mariam from A ThousandSplendidSuns expresses much hope about attaining a bright future. She wants to pursue an education as she says, "I mean a real school…like in a classroom, like my father's other kids" (Hosseini, 17). Mariam firmly believes that she can shed her shameful status of...
...A ThousandSplendidSuns ISU Essay
Book by: Khaled Hosseini
In a world full of immorality, a human being is inclined of undertaking an act of evil towards another. Some people perform evil actions for good intentions, but some do because of their selfish interests and desire for power. In Khaled Hosseini’s novel, A ThousandSplendidSuns, it is questionable whether the characters and the society have displayed cruelty and inhumanity among other characters. Cruelty of mankind is evident in the novel. By examining the corrupted values, abuse, and the discrimination of women visible in society; it will become evident how evil humankind can be.
Corrupted values are detrimental in society because it takes away one’s freedom, education, and a chance to live. First, the Talibans set laws for the Afghans to follow:
You will not wear charming clothes. You will not speak unless spoken to. You will not make eye contact with men. You will not laugh in public. If you do, you will be beaten. You will not paint your nails. If you do, you will lose a finger.
Freedom is a basic fundamental right that every person deserves to have. The opportunity to speak, believe and pursue happiness without any restriction defines freedom for an individual. It is the government’s responsibility to distribute and secure the freedom of...
Chapter 1-15 (Part One) Journal # 1
After I had read The Kite Runner, I was recommended to also read A ThousandSplendidSuns, by the same author, Khaled Hosseini. I took this piece of advice, and finished the book in just a few days. It was a splendid book written by a splendid author, who took it to heart to write such a vivid story about the lives of two women in Afghanistan and how difficult it was for them. From the first pages of this book, my attention was captured and I couldn’t put it down. It made me forget about the real world and dragged my mind into the world of Mariam and Laila.
Mariam is a girl who was “born a harami, a source of shame to her father and his family” (60). Her father Jalil is of the upper-class men of Kabul, and her mother a lowly woman cast out of her home by her master Jalil. Every Thursday, Jalil would visit Mariam and tell her of the wondrous stories of her past, and Mariam, a naive little girl, would eat up all the lies he feeds her. Her mother would warn her against it all, but Mariam chose to believe the happy version of events Jalil told her. He was a rich man telling rich lies.
Why would Mariam’s own father be so cold-hearted to pretend to love her and make up stories that aren’t even true? I think he does this because “[he is] ashamed of [her]” (50); but he...
...Title Significance: The title of A ThousandSplendidSuns is taken from a poem composed by Saeb-e-Tabrizi. In the poem, he compares Afghanistan’s beauty to “a thousandsplendidsuns.” It is somewhat ironic that this book had the title of A ThousandSplendidSuns when it was about the destruction of Afghanistan.
Genre: A ThousandSplendidSuns is a historical fiction novel.
Date of Original Publication: 2007
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Setting: Herat, Afghanistan, Gul Daman, Murree, Pakistan, and Kabul from 1958 until the present
Importance of Setting: The story takes place in a time where it is acceptable for men to have several wives and unacceptable to have children out of wedlock, or sex before marriage. Divorce was taboo and most men could so whatever they wanted to their wives in the comfort of their own homes. During the novel, the war in Afghanistan begins and many things that are popular to people become outlawed. Women lose rights and the government growingly becomes theocratic.
Plot: The novel is told in four parts from the points of view of two women in Afghanistan, Mariam and Leila. Mariam lives in a hut with her single mother. Her father is a rich man who lives in the city. She cannot live with her father because she is an illegitimate child, born out of wedlock. However, her...
Set in the ever changing country of Afghanistan, A ThousandSplendidSuns is a novel that follows the unfortunate lives of two Afghan women whose fates mysteriously intertwine toward the middle of the detailed story. They live in a time that ranges from the Soviet Invasion to the reign of the Taliban to the post-Taliban rebuilding stage when their stories end. The first section of the book follows the life of Mariam, which begins with her painful childhood. Being an illegitimate child of a well-to-do cinema owner and his maid, her mother, she lives her days in a dirty shack with her scornful mother. Weekly visits from her father keep Mariam happy until one day he doesn’t show up. After going to his house to look for him she learns that her mother has hung herself in fear that Mariam has deserted her like her father did years ago. With nothing left Mariam moves in with her father but is soon married off to a much older man named Rasheed. Her life as a wife begins fairly well but that changes when she has a miscarriage. Her life turns black and blue as Rasheed abuses her both physically and mentally, but as an Afghani woman there is nothing she can do about it. The second section of the book revolves around the daily life of Laila, the second woman in the novel. Although she lives just down the street from Mariam, all that Laila notices about her is her quiet...