Freedom is an aspect of life that many people take for granted. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini follows two women as they struggle to gain their freedom. The novel takes place in Afghanistan, a country with very limited women’s rights and a barbaric approach at government. The women, Mariam and Laila, start with two completely different lives that come together at a twist of fate. Throughout the novel Khaled Hosseini illustrates the inner strength of women, their ties to Afghanistan, and the importance of family.
Women in Afghanistan have been treated horribly for decades. A majority are forced into marriage and then controlled by their husbands. In the novel, Mariam is thrust into an unhappy marriage at the age of fifteen after her mother dies. She caters to her husband’s every need with no sign of gratitude. Mariam showcases a strength that is not measured by her authority or brawn, but by her ability to overcome and accept her fate. Laila, on the other hand is very fortunate. Her father, Babi, is a revolutionist who knows the importance of women. Babi says to her, “…when this war is over, Afghanistan is going to need you as much as its men, maybe even more. Because a society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated, Laila. No chance.” He knows that a society cannot flourish, or even exist without the presence of women, and respects them for that.
Although Mariam and Laila inhabit a country in which they have little freedom, they seem to feel attached to it. When Laila first attempts to flee Afghanistan with her parents she says “Oh, Babi. We’ll come back. When this war is over. We’ll come back to Kabul. You’ll see.” Laila acts as if she is compelled to go back, even though her country is in ruins. At the end of the novel when Laila is finally free, she becomes unhappy and decides to return to Kabul. It’s almost as if Laila sees the potential in her country and feels a longing to make it... [continues]
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