Amidst the escalating conflicts of the Middle East, there are many relationships that Khaled Hosseini illustrates throughout the book. One of the main relationships that greatly affects Mariam’s life is her double sided relationship with her father, Jalil. At a young age, Mariam is recognized as an illegitimate child of Nana and Jalil. “Nor was she old enough to appreciate the injustice, to see that it is the creators of the harami who are culpable, not the harami, whose only sin is being born.”(pg. 4) This emphasizes how from the very beginning, Mariam was not truly wanted by either her mother or father. Jalil loved Mariam yet only to a certain extent; he did not legitimately consider her as his daughter due to modern society’s outlook on the situation. Throughout Mariam’s childhood, she is filled with anticipation for acceptance. While Nana openly displays her strong hatred for Jalil, Mariam feels that he is the only person that loved her and accepted her. One day, she asks Jalil to bring her to his cinema to watch the film Pinocchio with her other brothers and sisters, he reluctantly accepts. The following day, Mariam waits for Jalil to take her into town. When his lack of presence appears clear to Mariam, she realizes that Jalil has no intention of developing a relationship outside of the Kolba. She begins to question their entire relationship and if all he has said to her has been lies. Hosseini vilifies Jalil’s character as Mariam ultimately discovers the truth of the situation and the idealized world that she once lived in is gone. This tragic novel is a great depiction of expectations and rejections.
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