The Sun under the Burqa
----Book view of A Thousand Splendid Sun
It’s not easy to write an essay about some famous books. As the saying goes, the first to describe a girl as a rose is a genius, and the second one is an idiot. After so many readers and critics have talked about them, it seemed to be an “impossible mission” to write something new. Unfortunately, today I am going to be the most stupid Ethan Hunt. I have to describe a girl as a rose in this impossible mission. I want to talk about A Thousand Splendid Suns.
Being the second composition of Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns has received samples of praise. Time magazine’s Lev Grossman described it as a “dense, rich, pressure-packed guide to enduring the unendurable”. Jonathan Yardley also said that it’s a book “better than The Kite Runner”. They do have reasons to feel this way. But how could I describe my personal feeling about it? Good!
The first time I saw the book, A Thousand of Splendid Suns, was two years ago. I was hanging out in a book shop, and it was not sunny. In a thundering and lightning day, I saw this book, which I guess suggested that this story would make a storm in my heart.
Actually it was not a comfortable experience to read A Thousand Splendid Suns. When reading it, I could not stop walking around in the room to relieve those emotions which are seething within. At first I tried to guess the reason why the author named the story“a thousand of splendid suns”. I imagined the image that the beautiful girls and women are dancing under the Mid-latitude warm sunshine. Their exquisite golden dresses, those buildings and streets are shining enthrallingly, just a like a thousand splendid suns.That’s how I define the word “splendid” , so childish and puerile. When I began to read it, the book reserves this definition completely. “Where are those splendid suns?” I asked myself. I can only see a desperate mother, two tragic marriages and thousands of women struggling in an extremely low social status under heavy chains of male authority and religious shackles. I clearly remember that when the afghan Taliban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamian by dynamite I was sitting at the supper table with my parents watching the news broadcast. But until now I began to realize that at that moment, two even thousands of women were suffering from the same dynamite which made the tragedy of Buddhas of Bamian. I began to realize that it’s a story of old society happened in this new modern society where people are talking about fashion clothes or new superstars. It’s too true to be true.
Being aha lami, Mariam lives in a kolba on the outskirts of Herat with her desperate mother, receiving and refusing her mother’s words, “happiness is impossible”. Her father Jalil always come to see her on every Thursday. Jalil is a good storyteller. He talks with Mariam, drinks tea with her and gives her some little gifts. That’s the only way for Mariam to get information from outside. But time is so powerful that it can changes everything. Endless waiting finally makes Mariam more “greedy”. Thursday’s meeting cannot satisfy her anymore. She wants to live with his father in his big house in Herat. And his father nods his head, in a hesitant way. So Mariam’s life is ruined on her 15-year-old birthday. Her desperate mother kills herself. Her dearest father Jalil becomes a stranger. She marries a troubled and bitter man named Rasheed who is 30 years her senior and lives under the shadow of family violence in turbulent age. Good!
Childish people always try to make beautiful beliefs for themselves, even though they are only some big and small lies. Mariam firmly believes that her life won’t be that cold as her mother described. So after so many years, when she is refused by her father for so many times and becomes more and more helpless, when she is distressed by the guilt of her mother’s death, when she is suffering...
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