Rasheed's Oppressive Behavior
In the late 1800's and early 1900's in American history, women fought for the right to vote as part of the Women's Suffrage Movement. Great activists such as Susan B. Anthony stepped up for the equality of women in America. Women eventually did receive the right to vote in 1920 after years of hard work, making America one of the leaders of nations in the fight for gender equality. To this day however, that is hardly the case in many other countries. Women are more often then not treated as nothing more than a man's property, as shown with Rasheed of Afghanistan in A Thousand Splendid Suns. Young women are forced into marriages, out of need or family obligations as seen with Mariam and Laila who are given no other choice than to marry Rasheed. He treated the women with disrespect and abuse, treating them almost like animals whose only purpose was to serve and please him. Through Rasheed, the author Hosseini illustrates the struggle with oppression that the of women of Kabul are faced with.
Despite Rasheed's devastating loss of his wife and son, his abusive and oppressive nature was inexcusable. Rasheed thought instead of letting Laila and Mariam be friends, he decides to pit them against each other and make them compete for him by being better wives. This understandably creates animosity, but the women get over their indifferences "they were not enemies any longer" (Hosseini 151) through their mutual dislike of their monstrously abusive husband. Rasheed treated Mariam and Laila like his property. Rasheed's entitlement led him to believe it was okay to beat women, but eventually Rasheed's "continual condescension and violence, his faultfinding and meanness" (Hosseini 210) helped Mariam to finally take charge of her life by killing him.
Rasheed's selfishness drove him to do things that he is oblivious to. An example is Rasheed feeling as if he was doing Laila a favor by marrying her. "I'd say this is downright charitable of...
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