Motherhood, The Needle And Thread Essay

1641 words - 7 pages

Think of one person you can turn to for advice, expect love and warmth from, or tell you who you should be dating. In most cases one’s mother or a mother figure would spring into their minds. Motherhood is and underlying theme that affects all characters in both Persepolis and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Essentially, it highlights the unfair treatment directed towards women in their countries. During the course of both novels all women, even those who were not mothers, are burdened with the strict morals imposed upon them. For instance, Marjane had issues with staying true to herself and Laila had difficulties with raising her daughter Aziza and son Zalmai. These religious and governmental ...view middle of the document...

” (80) A Thousand Splendid Suns
Suddenly, sirens started to wail…and my aunt did too. I found myself with the newborn we had been celebrating in my arms. Her mother had already abandoned her. Since that day, I’ve had doubts about the so called “Maternal Instinct” (Marjane, 107) Persepolis
Both quotes have an underlying indication of the mistreatment of women in their countries. Miriam, in A Thousand Splendid Suns, was a mother in many ways. In her journey of life she encountered difficulties with pregnancy. The quote above refers to the feeling she had in regards to brining another life into the world. In this quote she already displays all of the definitive characteristics a mother should obtain. Miriam’s life, because of the regulations imposed on women, has been extremely difficult. To say that bringing another life into the world dwarfs all of those difficulties shows the maternal instincts within Miriam; although she was unable to have children. The “pebble games” that Miriam played were a manifestation of her solitary lifestyle; she desperately wanted a way to remain connected to Jalil and his legitimate family but also find a connection with her mother. Mentioning that she would no longer play those games signifies the effort for her to embrace and put energy into a family of her own. Miriam’s love for her unborn child juxtaposes the abandonment Marjane’s Aunt shows to her newborn child. Overall this quote distinguishes the role that a good mother plays in the characters of A Thousand Splendid Sun’s lives.
The second quote used to guide my overall comparison of the overarching theme of motherhood is an example of how the abandonment of a child can inflict damage to an individual. It is also a manifestation of how male hegemony affects motherhood. Marjane’s aunt was so quick to abandon her child and in that moment she chose her own life over her child. This provoked a negative connotation of motherhood within Marjane because she witnessed the ease it took for her aunt to leave her child, even though it was the child that was being celebrated. Male hegemony was very prevalent within the Islamic culture, and it manifested itself in fear within all citizens particularly women. Marjane’s aunt showcased this oppression because instead of protecting her child the fear forced her protect her own well-being. The abandonment that Marjane’s aunt showed towards compels Marjane to feel a certain way about the “maternal instinct” for the rest of the novel.
Both Miriam and Marjane’s experiences with motherhood correlate to the overarching theme and importance of motherhood. Negligence and dedication are two opposing factors that are imperative in the advancement of the characters’ lives. The oppression that these two stories express manifests itself very differently throughout the novels. Personal oppression occurs in the story of A thousand Splendid Suns because Miriam, Laila, Miriam’s mother, Laila’s mother, all felt the oppression personally,...

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