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Explore the relationship between Mariam and Laila in A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

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English Literature Coursework Assignment 1 (1208) Question: Explore the relationship between Mariam and Laila in ?A Thousand Splendid Suns? by Khaled Hosseini. The moving novel ?A Thousand Splendid Suns? by Khaled Hosseini portrays the repression of women in the backward Muslim world by showing the relationship between two women building into a strong and impervious bond. The relationship depicted is of two women who have suffered immense abuse most of their lives, be it physical, mental or sexual. The story of the two brave and bold women takes place in Kabul, which is engulfed by wars and Jihads as manifested in Taliban. The political upheaval has rendered the town a desolate look in the wake of terrorism and women disempowerment. Hosseini reveals their unique bond based on love and sacrifice in a variety of ways such as their contrasting childhood, the setting of the war, and the structure of the novel. Mariam, a bastard child, is only seeking love and acceptance throughout her life; conversely Laila?s upbringing is very motivating and admiring. With these distinct backgrounds Hosseini creates two characters of diverse nature that connect because of their differences. ...read more.


Mariam is so devastated by the circumstances that make ?Mariam swung. She hit him across the temple? (Pg340) and kills Rasheed for the protection of her family. Another example is when as she says to Laila to ?Think like a mother, I am.? (Pg349), which represents Mariam?s motherly nature towards Laila. The strength of the relationship depicted by Hosseini was not only through the same marriage they were in, but also through a bond created because of the environment they lived in. Mariam and Laila?s relationship was also built as a result of the malicious war and repression of women. Through these hard times Hosseini illustrates the support they give each other through the brutal beatings by men as ?he (Rasheed) swung a belt? (Pg337). Furthermore Hosseini reiterates the sacrifice made by the motherly figure of Mariam by showing the murder of their husband ?Rasheed?. This reflects the permanency in their relationship. In addition, Hosseini echoes the domination of men throughout, and crafts a bond to show how women survive this kind of oppression, thus reflecting the fortitude of the two women and their relationship. ...read more.


The structure is an interweaving of their relationship, like a creeper; one by one each of the vines of the creeper overlaps to create a strapping and strong plant. Throughout this emotive and expressive novel, Khaled Hosseini does a fine job rendering the extraordinary and epic relationship between Mariam and Laila. The relationship reflected in this novel is truly moving; Hosseini has incorporated themes of love, trust, and sacrifice to enhance and intensify the relationship. Overall, Hosseini is successful in turning a relationship between two women, into a unique bond created between a mother and daughter. This story is extremely heart-rending and touching, as it opens the minds of readers into a different perspective. The quote that moved me, not only describes Mariam, but her life and relationship with Laila; ?One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls. (Pg381). Hosseini?s craft is remarkable in that it shows how two women victimized by social, mental, physical and sexual oppression can join hands together irrespective of the tenets of caste and creed. The weaker sex can shine like the thousand splendid suns with the milk of human kindness filled in their hearts, and not surprisingly eclipse the dominating spirit of dehumanized men, as epitomized by Jalil and Rashid. ...read more.

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