The theme in the novel “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini is the inner strength of a women even in the darkest of times, which he has shown through symbolism, metaphors / similes, and irony. Both Mariam and Laila endure so much heartache in their lives because they are women, yet they continue the strength to pull together and persevere. Mariam was born in a world which turns their back on women. She has a father who refuses to acknowledge her existence, a husband who abuses her for twenty-seven years, and the need to murder her husband when he attempted to kill Laila. Even though every situation, she remains to accept what fate hands her. Laila faces the loss of the boy she loves, the deaths of her parents and the marriage to Rasheed who abuses her for first producing a girl instead of a boy and then finding out it’s not his child. In the end, Laila faces the challenge of being a woman who returns to her home country with the intention of helping rebuild the country and honoring the memory of Mariam.
The biggest symbol in the story is the title “A Thousand Splendid Suns” where it refers to a poem in which the city of Kabul was described as having a thousand splendid suns, and also used as a symbol for Mariam. The reason for that is because after Mariam gave up her life for Laila to live out hers, Laila realizes that Mariam is still looking out for her and her family as she always has been. “Mariam is in Laila's own heart, where she shines with the bursting radiance of a thousand suns.” (page 366) The poem that the title is evolved from, is by the Persian Sufi poet Hafiz, in which he compares the mystical relationship with God to the power and brilliance of "A Thousand Splendid Suns" within you. One who has attained this mystical relationship cannot be harmed by evil for she/he is joined to Eternity. Another piece of symbolism is when Mariam remembers how Nana used to say that “each snowflake was a sigh heaved by an aggrieved woman...
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