A Thousand Splendid Suns: strength of women surviving during the Taliban Era

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‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ was written by an Afghan American writer, Khaled Hosseini. The novel narrates the strength and resilience of two women who endure physical and psychological cruelty in an anti-feminist society. It also demonstrates how The Taliban uses fear and violence to control the people of Afghanistan, particularly females. Throughout this story the novel exposes the way customs and laws endorse Rasheed’s violent misogyny and it tells the tale of two women who endure a marriage to a ruthless and brutal man, whose behaviour forces them to kill him. The protagonist Mariam is a poor villager who lives in a remote area in Afghanistan, in contrast to Laila who is a smart, educated daughter of a schoolteacher.

Khaled Hosseini
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Ironically, it is the society itself that gives them the strength and platform to strike back against Rasheed, who is a cruel, male-dominating character who symbolised and reinforced everything the term ‘anti-feminist’ stands for.

The novel is written in narrative format and is told from the perspectives of Mariam and Laila. With the commencing of The Taliban period, the structure of the novel stays the same as it clarifies and describes the new settings that the two female characters have to face. All the warring periods could in a way have foreshadowed the arrival of Taliban. The history of Afghanistan symbolised the unfortunate situations that the country would face. The idiom ‘harami’ means someone who is unwanted or who would never have legitimate claim to the things other people had; and this could refer to how the Taliban were viewed by fellow Afghans, later on during The Taliban’s ruling.

Mariam’s background is more traumatic than Laila’s as she viewed incidences for example ‘Nana dangling at the end of it/you were ashamed of me’, illustrating the trauma and heartache she had to endure at an early stage, resulting in her becoming a stronger character, which is demonstrated when Mariam convinces Laila to oppose the rules of The Taliban. ‘Mariam was muttering a prayer’ shows that Mariam continuously utters a prayer, which displays her effort to keep them protected from The

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