A Thousand Splendid Suns

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INDEPENDENT STUDY
PROFFESOR LIGHT 2011-03-24 In Khaled Hosseini’s, A Thousand Splendid Suns, the main character Mariam who lacks confidence, self esteem and courage becomes a feminist hero as the novel concludes by killing her husband Rasheed to save Laila’s life; her husband’s second wife. In that she breaks the gender stereotype that had been occurring in her childhood due to her judgmental mother then continuing onto her adulthood due to the rules that her husband set for her, following onto the laws that the Taliban’s enforce for all the women in Afghanistan, and then finally gains a measure of autonomy when she kills her psycho husband who treats both Mariam and Laila like dogs. At a very young age, Mariam’s Nana tells her that “Learn this now and learn it well, my daughter: Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a women. Always. You remember that, Mariam” (Hosseini, 7). At that age she is taught that no matter what happens women will always get the blame. She faces these stereotypes in her life when she is told not to leave outside the kolba because her Nana would tell her that people would make fun of her and not accept her because she is a “Harami; that she, Mariam, was an illegitimate person who would never have legitimate claim to the things other people had, things such as love, family, home, and acceptance” (4). As a child she is always put down by her own mother’s fear that people would laugh at her. When Mariam asks if she could attend school instead of getting home schooled Nana tells her “They’ll call you harami. They’ll say the most terrible things about you. No more talk about school” (19). She once again is being stereotyped for being a harami daughter. At the age of fifteen Mariam is forced to marry a forty-year-old man Rasheed. Even as a married woman she is forced to obey her husband, listen to her husband and not talk back to him. Rasheed gives Mariam his own set of rules that she

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