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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini: Atypical Women's Stories

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 Many people that have lived throughout the world have experienced numerous problems with oppression along with the history of war. They have lived through unbelievable stories and dangerous conditions. The people that have lived in Afghanistan have seen the Anti soviet Jihad, civil war, and Taliban tyranny. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini specifically focuses on two Afghanistan women who lived through interesting times of anti-Soviet Jihad, Mujahedeen and communist conflict, and Taliban tyranny. These two characters were born in different generations and raised differently with having different views about family and love. Numerous newspaper articles about the oppression of women show how it is a serious issue in the world with similar issues to the way the characters suffer from the pain and isolation in A Thousand Splendid Suns. The novel shows how the suffering slowly builds up into anger because it is eventually understood that it is wrong when the two characters are brought together by war but lost by fate.

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Women’s oppression was been an issue for many years. In the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns, the author focuses if the ability of women to tolerate social restrictions and male oppression. Mariam pushes Laila’s father away and she becomes a greater target of Rasheed’s abuse because Rasheed tends to beat Mariam when he is angry with Laila. During a beating Rasheed “held a belt in his hand” and Mariam became petrified, but Laila tries to stand up for Mariam. They both can stand up to Rasheed and reduce the frequency of severity of Rasheed’s beatings. By rejecting Laila, Mariam only increases her pain and suffering. The characters coping mechanisms seem to only destroy any remaining strands of courage and hope within them. This is similar to article two because they both explain the discrimination against women and the harassment of women by men. It shows how the women would not stand up but eventually, they began to team up because they understand each other’s struggles. They eventually go against their abuser and win their fight for the rights they wanted. This shows the similarities between the oppression of women not only in Afghanistan but throughout the world.

Women’s oppression is a huge issue that is seen with the protagonist in the novel A Thousand Splendid Suns but we also see similar oppression in article one with women that show the opportunity that males get versus females. Mariam who is the protagonist undergoes changes that are positive and uplifting which results in a change of self. Mariam starts at the beginning of the novel having a lack of self-esteem, confidence, strength, and courage. Mariam’s lack of confidence is shown through the fact that she is in fear of Rasheed. Mariam shows this when she says “His shifting moods, his volatile temperament, his insistence on steering even mundane exchanges down a confrontational path that, on occasion, he would resolve with punches, slaps, kicks, and sometimes try to make amends for with polluted apologies and sometimes not.” As Mariam begins to become closer to Laila, who encourages her and inspires her to achieve changes. Mariam’s change is evident towards the end of the novel when we see her do something that nobody has told her to do but she makes the decision herself. Mariam’s abuse shows the personality of Rasheed and his power that is shown through his word which emphasizes that Mariam means nothing to Rasheed. The treatment that is seen in the relationship between Rasheed and Mariam is similar to article one because they both show the abuse of women by men whether they are in a relationship or not. This article covers many important details about the unequal balance of the power between men and women along with organizations that have abused women with different privileges that were given to men and not approved for women. We see this similarity in Mariam’s abuse because Rasheed thinks he has power over Mariam because he is a “better gender.” Although life consists of many obstacles, everybody goes through them differently along with the way each person approaches and reacts to them.

The strength of women is shown through the lives of Mariam and Laila, both ultimately become their keys to their survival and help. They both can overcome many social restrictions like education, forced marriages, lack of basic faculties, and male oppression. In many ways, the education that is provided to people helps them build opportunity and knowledge. Article three expresses the oppression of women by showing examples of women with different college education American women claim that we are systematically oppressed and persecuted for being women in modern-day America, to what extent is the university teaching its students about universality. This highlights the struggle for identity in women because they have become so caught up in society, that they no longer act as they usually would in a normal society. In the novel, Mariam’s definition of justice grants equality and equal treatment to all. Both characters in the novel know what it is like to be oppressed and be seen as inferior.

In conclusion. For most people, life is often very hard. For women, especially those who grew up in countries like Afghanistan, their lives are constant battles because of poverty or dangerous conditions. The people that have lived in Afghanistan have seen the Anti soviet Jihad, civil war, and Taliban tyranny. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini specifically focuses on two Afghanistan women who lived through interesting times of anti-Soviet Jihad, Mujahedeen and communist conflict, and Taliban tyranny. These two characters were born in different generations and raised differently with having different views about family and love. Numerous newspaper articles show the oppression of women and show how it is a serious issue in the world with similar issues to the way the characters suffer from the pain and isolation in A Thousand Splendid Suns. The novel shows how the suffering slowly builds up into anger because it is eventually understood that it is wrong when the two characters are brought together by war but lost by fate. 

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