A Thousand Splendid Suns Essay

1600 words - 6 pages

A Thousand Splendid SunsBy Khaled Hosseini"One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls." Khaled Hosseini tells an empowering story about life in Afghanistan from early 1960s to early 2000s. Hosseini portrays the history of the era through the eyes of Afghan people, in their simple ordinary lives. He does an excellent job in choosing the narrative through which his words and characters live.The narrative begins in a small house just outside of Herat. Hosseini narrates through Mariam's eyes; a young girl who had always dreamed of visiting the cities around her. The first fifteen years of her life were spent living on hill isolated with her mother. Mariam had a rich father who came to visit every Thursday. She loved her father, Jalil, but her mother was far from loving him at all. She told Mariam that Jalil was a "Rich man telling rich lies". But Mariam never used to see him that way, that is, until her fifteenth birthday. She ran away to Jalil's house where she wasn't accepted. When Jalil's chauffer took her back to her house they discovered that her mother had committed suicide. With nowhere else to turn Mariam was taken in at Jalil's house. Jalil's three wives didn't like Mariam, as to them she was a disgrace to the family name. To rid of her they married her off to a widowed shoemaker, Rasheed. He took Mariam to Kabul where he showed her around and treated her well. That changed when it was revealed that Mariam was infertile, that he started physically and verbally abusing her.Meanwhile growing up across the street from where Mariam and Rasheed lived was a beautiful, smart, and talented young girl, Laila. She was the youngest daughter of Hakim and Fariba. Hakim was a man of learning and reading. He always made sure that Laila had been learning no matter what was going on in the outside world and it was Hakim who saw the potential in Laila to change Kabul one day. In her mother's view she was always second best to her two older brothers.When the Soviets invaded the streets of Afghanistan in 1979, it became very dangerous and people were dying daily. Laila's childhood friend, Tariq would always be by Laila's side if ever she needed to out on the streets. Laila's brothers joined the army and died while in service, leaving Laila's mother devastated.In April of 1988 the Soviets left Afghanistan after years of loss and suffering. Now the Taliban invades. The Taliban strictly enforces that all women must always be accompanied by a man when on the streets,and women also may not work, show their face or wear make-up, as for the men they had to attend the mosque daily for prayers and grow out long beards. Anyone who disobeys will be punished depending on the severity of the crime.In 1992 when Laila was fourteen, she and Tariq became lovers. The heavy fighting in west Kabul between the Pashtun forces of the warlord Sayyaf and the Hazaras of the Wahdat faction caused many people in...

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