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

Authors Avatar by sc_rahulgrah (student)

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. Hosseini portrays the character of Mariam as a “harami”(pg4) filled with regret and sorrow; this reflects upon the relationship she builds with Laila, which at first is hesitant because of the lack of love Mariam received in her early years. It is the irony of her fate that the two most important men for a woman-the father and the husband-are alike. Laila nonetheless is a character who has had a childhood filled with love and education; transforming her into an intelligent girl, who is open to love others, not still losing faith in mankind. Can such a girl as Laila rejuvenate Mariam’s life by bonding herself with into a new relationship? It is said that a drowning man catches a straw, but this story of the two Afghani women is a story where two drowning women catch hold of each other to cross the ocean of terror and fear.

Join now!

Mariam and Laila’s first interaction is when Aziza, the daughter of Laila “grabbed” (Pg237) Mariam’s finger thereby forming a familial tie, in which she “had never been wanted like this, Love had never declared to her so guilelessly, so unreservedly” (Pg246). Hosseini unveils Mariam’s hidden emotions by personifying love itself, and suggesting how strongly she feels it, thereafter reflecting that Mariam harbors the divine instincts of love somewhere in the dark recesses of her heart. Hosseini through the character of Aziza kindles this relationship and shows how they “slowly grew accustomed to this tentative but pleasant companionship” (Pg245). The vast ...

This is a preview of the whole essay