Endurance in A Thousand Splendid Suns

Topics: Domestic violence, Violence, Taliban Pages: 6 (2370 words) Published: December 3, 2013
20 October 2013
The Effects of Enduring
Violence, war, discrimination, and poverty: these issues have long been a part of Afghanistan’s history. Even though things in Afghanistan are getting better, war fills the country, and women and children have to learn to endure abuse, caused by men and the Taliban; they also learn to endure poverty. Considering this, it is no wonder why Afghanistan is in the terrible position it is in now. Many Afghan cities like Kabul are filled with things like violence and discrimination, and the book A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini takes place in Kabul. This book follows the lives of two Afghani women, Mariam and Laila, as they suffer pain and discrimination received from the Taliban and their husband, Rasheed. The women are forced to clean, cook, wear veils outside of the house, and have to take care of the children on a daily basis. Throughout the book, Mariam and Laila, as well as other characters, learn to endure all these hardships in their lives. To endure is the ability to bear with or tolerate something without fighting back, but the more someone has to endure, the more they change as a character. Thus forcing one to choose to act out in physical and verbal violence, and making poor decisions in their life. People who are able to endure will go farther in life than those who cannot because they do not fight back. In the story, Mariam must learn to endure when she lives with someone like Rasheed and her father. However, the longer she endures she begins to not tolerate things as easy and begins to fight back and rebel. First, after being married to Rasheed, Jalil begins to try and make Mariam feel better and says he will visit her, but Mariam said “Don’t come. I won’t see you. Don’t you come. I don’t want to hear from you. Ever. Ever.”, “It ends here for you and me. Say your good-byes” (Hosseini 55). Based on Mariam’s reaction, she is fed up with her father and is tired of listening to his lies and does not want to see him ever again. By Mariam telling Jalil she never wants to see him again reveals that she is very mad at him for having to endure everything like leaving her to live with Nana in the kolba, her mother’s death, and being abandoned by Jalil himself, and now he is sending her away. Therefore Mariam tells him to not visit her and say good-bye because she hates him for what he is doing. As a result of Mariam’s anger, she decides to go with Rasheed to Kabul, and leave her hometown. Mariam decides to do this because she is tired of taking sweat from her father, and tolerating all of his lies, and thinks leaving Herat is good for herself. Second, Mariam was in the kitchen looking for the wooden spoon when Laila walked in and Mariam began to call Laila a “whore. A whore and a dozd. A thieving whore, that’s what you are!” (Hosseini 233). Mariam’s outburst suggests that Mariam hates Laila, and is tired of doing all the work around the house like cleaning and cooking. She is also tired of seeing Laila doing nothing around the house and seeing Rasheed always be nice to her. Mariam shows she does not like Laila because she keeps calling Laila a whore and a thief. In a country where the woman do all the housework and cooking, and men go to work, Mariam does not like seeing Laila do nothing around the house while she does everything. This perspective causes Mariam to act out and creates higher tension in their home, which ultimately makes both their lives tougher than they already are. Third, Rasheed was very angry at Laila for hanging out with Tariq, and began to strangle Laila almost to the point of death when Mariam picked up a shovel and “she hit him across the temple. The bow knocked him off Laila…She turned it so the sharp edge was vertical, and, as she did, it occurred to her that this was the first time she was deciding the course of her own life. And, with that, Mariam brought down the shovel. This time, she gave it everything she had” (Hosseini 348-349)....
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