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Multimedia Essay-A Thousand Splendid Suns
Transcript of Multimedia Essay-A Thousand Splendid Suns
A Thousand Splendid Suns
There is no doubt that life is composed of many challenges and obstacles. The way one may approach such challenges shows his/her true character.Although initially devastating, overcoming the hardships of life strengthens the soul, and builds strength.
Khaled Hosseini discusses A Thousand Splendid Suns
In Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns, the inner strength of women is shown through Mariam and Laila. Both women show that the greatest is built in those who endure the most challenging obstacles in life. These conflicts may be person vs. self, person vs. person, or person vs. society.
"And when he heard, when he saw how much she missed him when he was gone, he would surely take her with him. He would bring her to Herat, to live in his house, just like his other children." (Hosseini Chapter 4)
Striving for something everyone is entitled to, such as love, shows that there is an internal conflict within oneself.
Mariam's mother, Nana, makes her feel guilty that she was born. Nana suppresses her affection, causing Mariam to crave and strive for love. The desire to be acknowledged shows a lack of love in Mariam's life.
Person vs. Self
"Tariq knew this. He knew she could not wipe away the obligations of her life any more than he could his, but it went on, his pleadings and her rebuttals, his proposals and her apologies, his tears and hers." (Hosseini Chapter 25)
The choice between freedom and duty becomes a burden when each represents a loved one.
When Laila discovers that Tariq is moving to Pakistan, she is devastated. Tariq has professed his love for her, and has asked her to come with him. As much as she does not want to hesitate, she has to, because she knows that she must take care of her parents.
Conclusion: Person vs. Self
Both Mariam and Laila face internal struggles which both involve love. In both characters, there is also the burden between freedom and duty. For Mariam, Jalil represents freedom, while Nana represents duty. In Laila's case, Tariq represents freedom, and Laila's parents represent duty.
In a forced relationship, conflicts and abuse are often anticipated as a result of interpersonal issues.
"His powerful hands clasped her jaw. He shoved two fingers into her mouth and pried it open, then forced the cold, hard pebbles into it. Mariam struggled against him, mumbling, but he kept pushing the pebbles in, his upper lip curled in a sneer." (Hosseini Chapter 15)
Rasheed is disappointed with Mariam's cooking, and is also stressed because of her many miscarriages. As a way of coping with his emotions, he abuses Mariam verbally and physically. He forces Mariam to chew on pebbles as a way of imitating and criticizing her rice. While she is chewing, she realizes that two of her molars broke. Satisfied, Rasheed claims that she has given him nothing but bad food in the marriage.
Person vs. Person
Person vs. Society
Women are discriminated against in Afghanistan, and not given many rights. This gives Mariam and Laila many limits and boundaries.
“You will not laugh in public. If you do, you will be beaten” (Hosseini 278).
Women are not allowed to even express their emotions in public, showing the discipline and irrational nature of the government. Mariam and Laila plan to escape Kabul and build new lives together.
Conclusion: Person vs. Person
Mariam and Laila are both forced to face conflicts within their relationships. For example, both women must live under the abuse and control of Rasheed. Mariam has no one but Rasheed, and she is left to deal with him for over 18 years. She was forced to marry him at only 15 years old. Similarily, Laila married Rasheed when she was around 15 as well. Both women have experienced physical and verbal abuse from Rasheed, which allows them to understand and comfort each other. This allows them to establish a strong friendship and display the inner strength of women..
“He caught her, threw her up against the wall, and struck her with the belt again and again, the buckle slamming against her chest, her shoulder, her raised arms, her fingers, drawing blood wherever it struck” (Hosseini 346).
Rasheed's wives experience physical pain/abuse due to his anger and inability to deal with his temper.
Rasheed becomes furious upon discovering that Laila’s lover, Tariq, has been secretly meeting with her, under his roof. He deals with this situation by inflicting physical pain onto Laila through his violent beatings. Mariam cannot watch, so she comes to the rescue, because she has grown to love her.
The government enforces strict and unreasonable laws. Laila corrupts such laws, despite the consequences, displaying her strength and determination.
Laila embarks on journeys to see Aziza, and due to the government’s strict laws, often gets beaten. However, she is determined to do whatever it takes to see her daughter. This shows her strength and persistence.
"And so Laila's life suddenly revolved around finding ways to see Aziza./If she was lucky, she was given a tongue-lashing or a single kick to the rear, a shove in the back. Other times, she met with assortments of wooden clubs, fresh tree branches, short whips, slaps, often fists." (Hosseini Chapter 42)
Conclusion: Person vs. Society
Due to the patriarchal society, Mariam and Laila are discriminated against, and must obey many (unnecessary) laws. Failure to abide by such laws results in consequences, which often include physical abuse. However, despite these consequences, Laila and Mariam do what they believe in, and stick together to overcome the many challenges society has to offer. Such challenges develop their power as women in an oppressed society.
In Khaled Hosseini’s novel A Thousand Splendid Suns, it is clear that the greatest strength is built in those who endure the most challenging obstacles in life. While facing such obstacles, it is common to encounter person vs. self, person vs. person or person vs. society conflicts. In conclusion, life involves challenges and obstacles that are meant to determine one’s true character, and build strength in an individual if overcome.
Hosseini, Khaled. A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Penguin Group, Toronto,2007.