A Thousand Splendid Suns: Analysis

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“ Nana said, ‘Learn this now and learn it well, my daughter: Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. You remember that Mariam” (Hosseini 7).

In this passage from A Thousand Splendid Suns, Mariam’s mother explains to her what her father is really like. Through the begging of this novel, Mariam sees her father, Jalil, as the better parent and views her mother as the more strict one. Nana isn’t fond of Jalil because after he had got her pregnant, he denied that he tried sleeping with Nana, “That [she] forced [herself] on him” (Hosseini 6). Mariam doesn’t believe this story. She feels that the only reason her father hadn’t kept her and her mother in his house was because of his other wives. Nana tries to explain to Mariam the truth but Mariam ignores what her mother tells her. In later chapters Mariam is able to realize that her mother had been telling the truth. When she does realize this, its because her mother has died and she is able to see that her father wants nothing to do with her.

The author, Khaled Hosseini, uses this to foreshadow Mariam’s husband, Rasheed, blames her for not having a son and for not being a good wife. Not only Rasheed, but other men in this novel as well blame the women for their problems. Jalil blamed Nana for the birth of Mariam even though it was his fault for having the affair. Rasheed doesn’t always blame Mariam for everything, at times he blames his other wife too, Laila, for giving birth to a daughter and not a son. This passage helps illustrate what Nana had to learn and what Mariam had to endure when growing up with a man around. Throughout, women are the victims of their husbands problems and in this book it clearly shows how women are accused, even when doing no harm to anyone.

“At night, Laila lay in bed and watched the sudden white flashes reflected in her window. She listened to the rattling of atomic gunfire and counted the rockets whining overhead as the house...
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