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Sexism in A Thousand Splendid Suns

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Introduction

A Thousand Splendid Suns Sexism - A major theme throughout the novel is sexism and the ideology that men possess complete control over their wives (helped further by the Taliban). A few days after living with Ransheed, Mariam is required to wear a burka as where he comes from "a women's face is her husband's business only." This statement objectifies women, likening them to possessions without personality or any individuality. If not for the tone, it could be said that Ransheed wants to free his wife from unwanted glances and snide remarks of another men, that might make her feel uncomfortable. However, no affection or protectiveness is expressed, the burka is simply for his benefit; a way to maintain his 'pride'. The quotation links closely to The Handmaid's Tale - the handmaid's dress code consists of an "ankle-length, full, gathered to a flat yoke that extends over the breast" and "white wings" which keep them from "seeing but also from being seen" showing extreme of objectification. ...read more.

Middle

Without, he would be classed as weak, thus a nobody. Society norms alone have huge influence on the struggle for identity. Not only does Ransheed dominate his wife, he also physical abuses them - "downstairs, the beating began" - it is almost like a ritual and the way it is said so obviously, highlights the horror of the act. Laila names it as "methodical, familiar proceeding...no cursing, no screaming...only the systematic business of beating and being beaten...thump thump" - the women have no option to accept the abuse (their 'punishment') as part of the daily routine. The fact women have no power to stop the atrocity, places them as forever vulnerable and powerless. Not being able to stand up for themselves, leads to a reduced version, thus the struggle for identity continues. Ironically, both men behave in ways that are ethically shameful. ...read more.

Conclusion

This was all meant to safeguard their honour, but in fact it was a way to control society, inducing too much fear for there to be ever a chance of rebellion. Language Techniques - * Short clipped sentences convey a tone that it is very matter of fact. This illustrates how the treatment of women by men is the norm, completely unsurprising. This highlights the struggle for identity as both women and men alike have become so indoctrinated by society ideology, they no longer act as they would do normally. * Use of questions, "Do you understand?" is almost like a parent would talk to a child, reflecting how men are placed as superior. Women are not given the courtesy of being thought of having a mind of their own. Other Links - * The Colour Purple - Ceclie is beaten by her husband as it is the norm. She is beaten for being 'not good enough' but in truth he uses her as a way to release his frustration and anger. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay starts off well and considers the use of language choices and their impact; however the structure of the essay needs to be rethought. Avoid subheadings - instead link the analysis throughout the essay.

3 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 04/07/2013

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