Thousand Splendid Suns

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Critical Essay
Jenna Hynes ELA 30-1
Have you ever felt so alone it was completely unfathomable? Have you been caught in the darkest time of despair, and received no help from anyone else? Have you ever struggled through a life altering hardship, and only have yourself to fall back on? The women of Afghanistan as pictured in A Thousand Splendid Suns have. This novel written by Khaled Hosseini carries a theme of contrasting companionship throughout. Hosseini focuses on the beautiful and evil sides of companionship, and contrasts the admirable with the atrocious. These women presented in the novel illustrate the need of companionship among themselves. Afghan women are imprisoned by their male counterparts, and treated as lone diseases. Abandoned, resented, worthless. Without support of others, these women have no chance to thrive. Some of these women may not be able to react to these challenges without the support of others. Companionship that is neglected may lead to a lack of strength in the human spirit. Mariam Jo was a strong, independent, simple little girl. Mariam had refused to shape herself as her dreadful mother, Nana, who fights to pick apart Mariam’s fragile soul. Nana had lost her strength with the human spirit when she too, was just a little girl. By Nana begrudging her own daughter, Mariam had built a wall of protection. That wall was shattered the day that Nana had hung herself upon it. Throughout the guilt placed upon her shoulders by her mother, Mariam uses her faith and spirit to repair the damage done to her soul. As the novel progresses, Mariam’s husband Rasheed comes in to her life to annihilate her. This angry, heartless man abuses Mariam. With every tooth crushing pebble that Rasheed force-feeds Mariam, a chip of her strength was torn away as well. Mariam is trapped, unable to flourish. Those who are free from evil, however, have the ability to grow. After Mariam and Laila’s harshest beating, the two of them gather the courage to rebel...
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