A Thousand Splendid Suns Patriarchal Analysis

961 Words 4 Pages
Hannah Mackler
Mr. Kearney
English 4 Honors
September 24, 2015

A Thousand Splendid Suns Essay

A patriarchal society by definition is "a male-dominated power structure throughout organized society and in individual relationships". In the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, the overall structure of society spanning over three generations, but specifically during the Taliban rule, is patriarchal. The women in the story face oppression by not having the civil liberties many of us take for granted such as going to school, having a job, or even leaving our houses unaccompanied. Nana, Mariam, and, Laila all exemplify how this society affects women making it easy for the reader to comprehend a concept that is foreign to us.
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In her own way, Mariam faces the hardest oppressions that affect her the most internally, out of all the female characters in the novel. Growing up as an illegitimate child, Mariam faced shame from not only her Mom who resented her, her biological Dad who wanted nothing to do with her, but society as well. The shame Mariam had for herself left her with very little confidence and was forbid by society to take part in things like family, love, or acceptance. Mariam faces oppression from the patriarchal society of Taliban Afghanistan throughout her entire life, but primarily the most severely after her arranged marriage to Rasheed, a local shoemaker, at the age of 15. Mariam’s father set up the arranged marriage, Mariam became pregnant with Rasheeds baby, but soon after has a miscarriage. Up until the miscarriage, Rasheed was kind to Mariam and treated her well, and held the hope that she would bring him a son, the ultimate desire of the men in the novel. Following the miscarriage, Rasheed became extremely verbally and physically abusive, which was a common and harsh reality many women faced. Women’s primary role in this culture was to have children and take care of things at home, so when Mariam was unable to conceive she was deemed a failure by her husband. Socially, women are viewed as good for nothing more than reproducing, preferably males to carry on the family name, and if that isn’t accomplished, the …show more content…
Reading A Thousand Splendid Suns made me realize that there are societies out in the world that treat women extremely poorly, giving them unequal or little to no fundamental rights based off the sole fact that they are women, so they are lesser. I think the author did an impeccable job at showing how the women in his novel were not indefinitely confined to the social and educational boundaries set by the society they lived in. Hosseini’s novel made me comprehend the intense limitations these women dealt with every single day, and also made me appreciate the ability the women had to grow from the confinements put on them, and the internal distress this society caused

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