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A Thousand Splendid Suns
Transcript of A Thousand Splendid Suns
By Khaled Hosseini
"...Each snowflake was a sigh heaved by an aggrieved woman somewhere in the world... As a reminder of how women like us suffer, she'd said. How quietly we endure all that falls upon us." Pg. 91
"It wasn't easy tolerating him talking this way to her, to bear his scorn, his ridicule, his insults, his walking past her like she was nothing but a house cat. But after four years of marriage, Mariam saw clearly how much a women could tolerate when she was afraid. And Mariam was afraid." Pg. 98
"In that week, Laila came to believe that of all the hardships a person had to face none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting." Pg. 126
"She saw her baby, Tariq's
baby, its temples wasted, its jaws slack, its skin mottled, bluish gray. She pictured its tiny body washed by strangers, wrapped in a tawny shroud, lowered into a hole dug in a path of windswept land under the disappointed gaze of vultures."
"'Just one glass, Rasheed. Not for me. Do it for her. You don't want her blood on your hands.'" Pg. 271
"'Then cut me open," Laila said. She dropped back on the bed and drew up her knees. "Cut me open and give me my baby.'" Pg. 291
"'Then I'll go by myself," Laila said. " You can't stop me, Rasheed. Do you hear me? You can hit me all you want, but I'll keep going there.'"
"She made as if she were going home, then took a different route down side streets. Sometimes she was caught, questioned, scolded-- two, three, even four times in a single day. Then whips came down and the antennas sliced through the air, and she trudged home, bloodied, without so much of a glimpse of Aziza." Pg. 321
"Before Mammy and Babi had died and her life turned upside down, Laila never would have believed that a human could withstand this much beating, this viciously, this regularly, and keep functioning."
"'It is fair," Mariam said. "I've killed our husband. I've deprived your son of his father. It isn't right that I run. I cant.'" Pg. 358
Honors English 2
A major theme of the novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, was the fortitude of two Afghan women in the face of hardships and physical and mental abuse. Mariam and Laila both endured beatings, ridicule, and suppression throughout the story. They encouraged each other to keep going in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.
This quote is an expression of the magnitude of the oppression that the Afghan women tolerate. It also portrays the response to the constant injustice of everyday life: a sigh, a reluctant acceptance to an immutable situation.
This quotation describes
the mood of Mariam and Rasheed's marriage. Mariam tolerates constant insults and sneers making her feel insignificant in any situation. At the beginning of the marriage she tried to appease Rasheed, but quickly realized it was impracticable.
When Laila was pregnant with Aziza, she knew that neither one of them would survive if Laila didn't take precautions. This quote shows that Laila would do anything for her daughter, even put herself in an impetuous and fatal relationship not knowing the outcome.
Waiting was the thing Mariam and Laila both did constantly throughout the book. They waited for the war to end. They waited for freedom. They waited ominously for the next time Rasheed was to lash out at them again. Mairam and Laila anticipated for a better future, but unfortunately, Mariam died as a sacrifice for Laila and her family's freedom.
During this horrific part
of the book, Laila and Aziza are imprisoned in a room with no food or water for three days. Aziza is dying before Laila's eyes and her plead for a glass of water to
Rasheed shows that her daughter's life is more important than her life itself.
In Laila's quest to see her daughter after sending her to the orphanage, she is faced with many brutal beatings as a result of Rasheed not accompanying her outside their home. Having endured many vicious beatings, Laila still visited Aziza whenever she was able to sneak past the Taliban.
There is no doubt that Laila (and Mariam) have a great deal of fortitude. They also are physically strong and can withstand constant physical abuse by the Taliban and Rasheed. The two women not only had to be strong for themselves, but also for the children.
This quote signifies how heroic Mariam really is. She is willing to take sole responsibility for Rasheed's death to ensure Laila's family's safety. "This was a legitimate end to a life of illegitimate beginnings." Pg. 370 of A Thousand Splendid Suns.
Laila is so determined to have her baby, she will do whatever it takes to make it happen. She is willing to have a cesarean delivery with no anesthesia due to breech positioning.
Aziza is sent to an orphanage due to their deteriorating financial situation. Laila will stop at nothing to see her daughter. Her love for Aziza is so strong that not even her fear of Rasheed can stand in her way.