In part one of the novel Nana speaks to Mariam about the blame Nana was forced to endure and tells Mariam, “Learn this now and learn it well, my daughter: Like a compass needle that points north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. You remember that Mariam”. This statement shows that no matter who is really at fault, a woman will always be given the blame over a man simply because she is a woman. A thousand Splendid Suns begins with the story of Mariam by telling her story of her childhood and continues to tell of how she endures and perseveres through her marriage with Rasheed.
Throughout the book Mariam endures on going violence and abuse from her husband Rasheed because it is the only option she has. “It’s our lot in life, Mariam. Women like us. We endure. It’s all we have”. This lesson teaches Mariam how women have to endure in order to survive in their society. Mariam tolerates years of Rasheed’s brutal insults and violent aggressiveness that make her feel insignificant in any situation. Women like Mariam undergo the domination of men like Rasheed because they fear for their lives.
Hosseini’s novel focuses on the lives of two women, Mariam and Laila, which are uneducated and poor. Who have both endured beatings and ridicule throughout the story. Although throughout it all, they encourage each other to keep going in the face of difficulty or with little to no prospects of success. Mariam finds comfort in Laila who like Mariam must also withstand Rasheed’s domination. The only option Mariam and Laila have is to withstand the massive hardships of day to day life as best as they can and not surrender themselves. Mariam and Laila stoody by waiting; waiting for the war to end, waiting for their freedom, and waiting for the next time Rasheed would lash out at them. Mariam and Laila awaited for a better future, but could not have one because of Rasheed. Their lives forever changed because of him always overpowering them.
Even though things in Afghanistan are getting better, war fills the country, and women and children have to learn to tolerate abuse, caused by men and the Taliban. Housseini makes it clear that perseverance and courage are necessary to survive as women in a society filled with men.
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