Thousand Splendid Suns Comparison Essay

2224 Words Aug 1st, 2013 9 Pages
The Cycle of Hope and Oppression 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 Thousand Splendid Suns 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
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That's how we will get on. Those are the rules" (Hosseini, 226). As Mariam pushes Laila farther away, she only becomes a greater target of Rasheed's abuse because Rasheed tends to beat Mariam when he is angry with Laila. During a beating, Rasheed "held a belt in his hand…" and Mariam becomes absolutely petrified, but Laila tries to stand up for Mariam. United, Mariam and Laila are able to stand up to Rasheed and reduce the frequency and severity of Rasheed's beatings. By rebuffing Laila, Mariam only increases her own pain and suffering. The character's coping mechanisms seem to only destroy any remaining strands of courage and hope within them. Similarly, in The Swallows of Kabul, Zunaira tries to find a way to cope with the oppression in her life. At the beginning, she tries to forget her own pain and suffering to be strong for her husband. Mohsen, her husband, insists on taking a stroll in the streets of Kabul, and Zunaira refuses to go because she does not want to wear the Burqa. To Zunaira, the Burqa epitomizes the mistreatment and oppression of women in Afghanistan. In the end, Zunaira agrees to go with Mohsen when she says, "Let's go out. I'd rather run a thousand risks than to see you so demoralized" (Khadra, 79). Zunaira sacrifices some of her core values to make Mohsen happy, who is her only support system in this World. Though she does not want to lose Mohsen,

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