Signing Away Rights
Khaled Hosseini’s novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, portrays the struggles of two women living under Taliban law in Afghanistan. Many thousands of women are restricted to their homes because the Taliban permits them from contributing to society, seeking education, or even leaving their property without a male relative present. Because women continue to face this oppression, 97% of women in the country show symptoms of depression (Woolf Internet). Women in Afghanistan are prohibited from having the right to make their own decisions because of gender discrimination.
In the book, Mariam faced ongoing gender discrimination, but two events mirrored each other and portrayed huge significance. When Mariam was forced to marry Rasheed, she needed to sign a contract, just as she did before her execution, twenty seven years later. But what does one’s signature symbolize? It symbolizes their approval to whatever is written in the document. Mariam was sent off to Rasheed against her will. “But I’ve seen nine-year-old girls given to men twenty years older than your suitor, Mariam. We all have. What are you, fifteen? That’s a good, solid marrying age for a girl,” (pg. 44). This is an example of a problem that practically all women in Afghanistan face because they have no rights and are treated as prizes to be given away. Twenty seven years later, Mariam killed Rasheed in order to defend Laila and was sent to prison. “…Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always,” (pg. 323). Mariam recalled Nana’s wisdom as she awaited her execution. This quote shows that women are evidentally inferior to men in the Afganistan society and will be accused of crimes that they did or did not do regardless. Mariam stayed mute during both events because she knew that her protests would not be heard, and she’d be overruled by the Mullah. These events symbolize the injustice that women face, but have to bear...
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