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Transcript of Multimedia Essay
"He start to choke me, saying you better shut up and get used to it. And now I feels sick everytime i be the one to cook." (Walker, online book)
"Look at you. You're black, you're poor, you're ugly, you're a women, you're nothing at all." (Walker, online book)
"I keep hoping he fine somebody to marry. I see him looking at my little sister. She scared. But I say I'll take care of you. With God help." (Walker, online book)
"Goddam it, Mariam, don't do this to me." (Hosseini, 49)
"She thought longingly all the summer nights that she and Nana had slept on the flat rook of the Kolba, looking at the moon glowing over Gul Daman, the night so hot their shirts would cling to their chests like a wet leaf to a window." (Hosseini, 63)
"And if you think you can use your looks to get ride of me, you're wrong. I was here first. I wont be thrown out. I wont have you cast me out." (Hosseini, 225)
A Thousand Splendid Suns
The Color Purple
In conclusion Mariam and Celie live very similar lives, they both live their lives being looked down upon, are both affected by their surroundings greatly and finally, they both grow relationships with females that help them both survive. The gender inequality is very similar between the two, both women are forced into have children when they did not want to, Mariam and Celie both are abused for not being perfect. Mariam and Celie both allow their surroundings to affect them, in two different time periods, Mariam ruled by the Taliban, while Celie was ruled by the whites. Mariam grows a female relationship with a girl, that she never believed could make her feel so happy and loved. Celie has an amazing relationship with her sister and Shug, both situations cause the feeling of love and forces both women to want to live and find a better life with or for the people they love and care for.
A Thousand Splendid Suns and The
A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Color
Purple are both based on the lives of a women going through a very difficult time and trying to find a positive way to get away from their old negative lifestyles.
The title is compared to a poem
Kabul is seen as a very fertile and beautiful place but in reality it is the total opposite
Takes place in Herat, Afghanistan and Gul Daman and the capital city of Kabul
Based in the 1960s-2000s
During Taliban rule
Protagonists are Mariam and Laila
Antagonists are Rasheed, the Taliban and the Mujahideen
Mood is very tragic, filled with despair most of the time, yet other times it is very uplifting and happy
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Based in 1910-1940
Mood is very confessional, depressing, sad and at some points happy, uplifting and hopeful
Takes place in rural Georgia
During a time of depression for many people
Blacks were looked down upon in this time
Protagonists are Celie, Nettie and Shug
Antagonists are Mr._____, Celie's husband that does not tell us his real name and Alphonso, Celie and Nettie's stepfather
The Color Purple
Mariam and Celie both learn they are not equal in society, they are degraded by men and this has a large affect on the growth of their personality throughout the books. Mariam, living in Afghanistan and Celie living in Georgia, had very different surroundings, yet they learned quickly how to deal with the world around them and work off it. Lastly, Mariam and Celie grow strong relationships with other females in the stories, which contributes to both characters being able to survive.
The Color Purple
Mariam is forced into marriage
In Rasheed's house Mariam did all house work and was beaten when he was upset
Celie is raped by who she believes is her father
Celie was abused for not being Shug Avery
Black women were trash, good for nothing
Believe the way of life they live is the only way and it will not get better
Mariam never saw the real world outside of her little hut
Taliban created the idea that women were ruled by men
Laila gave Mariam a reason to live
Aziza showed Mariam that there is hope, there is innocence left in the world
Celie has a strong relationship with her sister, she is her rock
Celie and Shug has a bond like lovers, making each other feel beautiful
Mariam is seen as an embarassment to Jalil because she was born out of wedlock, in this time period you are looked down upon, if you were the woman and the child. Jalil's wives decide it is best for his reputation if Mariam is married off to a man in a different city. Mariam has no say in whether or not she wants to get married and leave, simply because she is a young woman and does not understand that in Afghanistan this is how woman are treated, with no rights or love. This causes Mariam confusion, wondering how her own father could leave her in her time of need. From this point on Mariam begins to look at herself as independent and learns that to be a girl in this time, you have to do what you are told or there will be repercussions.
Gender Inequality continued...
"Well then as of tomorrow morning I expect you to start behaving like a wife." (Hosseini, 65)
Mariam moves in with her new husband, Rasheed, not even a week after her mother suicide. Still in a deep depression, Mariam is forced to begin the wifely duties, such as cleaning and cooking. Rasheed's house was a complete mess because he did no work after his wife passed away, it was her job not his. Women do not bring in income, so the least they could do is work around the house, produce children to also help the father and make him happy. A problem Mariam and Rasheed face is her inability to carry a child to full term, this is disappointing to Rasheed because it is one of the most important things men need from woman, a child. Since she could not do that for him, she was beaten and made into his slave. This is when we see Mariam's personality begin to grow, she learns the hard way that life is not always good, but she needs to deal with it and become her own person and not depend on Rasheed.
Mariam is brought up in a small hut, she knows nothing about outside of the Kolba, Mariam does not know that her life, in the Kolba, is better than most women who live in the city. Mariam may have dreams of living in the city with her rich father because she believes it would make her a better person. In reality, her old surroundings, at the Kolba made her stronger, happier, more positive and more alive than any other women in the city. This explains a theme of you do not know what you have until it is gone. Mariam sees that her life before her big idea of running away, was better than the dream of living in the city. Mariam did not have to deal with the rule of men and the pain that she is now going through when she was at the Kolba.
"Mariam had never before worn a burqa."(Hosseini, 72)
The Taliban created the idea that women cannot go out without either being covered or being accompanied by a man, because if a woman is showing enough skin to have another man look at her, she was to either be killed or considered a whore. Mariam never before worried about being looked at by a man because she was in the safety of her Kolba, she did not see men on a daily. The surroundings of the Kolba created Mariam to become a girl that did not have to hide her true self, as the women in the city had to do almost everyday. The burqa, represents how Mariam's life changes, from being secluded, from the rule of men, to being totally under a man's rule, where she can not be herself and act as she would, without there being a consequence. The new surroundings of Rasheed's house creates Mariam to look at the world differently, she could never be happy, her life had no meaning and she put up a mental wall, to not let anything hurt or affect her.
Mariam begins her relationship with Laila by showing hatred towards her. Mariam see's Laila as a threat, as if Laila was going to replace her. Mariam is not used to another woman in the house, it was only Mariam, she was Rasheed's wife and he was her husband, until Laila showed up. Even though Mariam despises of Laila, she allows her to break down her wall, and prove to Mariam that they need each other. One night they bond like a mother and daughter, creating a bond to never be broken. Since Mariam never gets the opportunity to be a mother or feel the love from another female, she took the chance and loved Laila and took care of her. Laila fulfills Mariam's dream, to have a daughter, it is her joy to protect Laila, Laila shows Mariam that she can push through and survive this terrible life she has got into. Mariam and Laila save each other, and turn each others lives around for the best.
Female relationships continued...
"And yet she was leaving the world as a women who had loved and been loved back. She was leaving it as a friend, a companion, a guardian. A mother. A person of consequence at last." (Hosseini, 370)
Mariam, during her last few minutes of her life, was happy. She is thankful for Laila coming into her life, and bringing Aziza and Zalami along with her. Mariam grows close to Aziza, Aziza is Mariam's hope, her proof that in this terrible world innocence is still around. This hope makes Mariam proceed and live through the hell that Rasheed puts her through. In Mariam's last few minutes, she is greatful that Laila came into her life, acted as her daughter, loved her and found safety in her. Without this strong female relationship, Mariam and Laila could not have gone this road alone. They needed each other to be a sense of security, to know that when they were near each other it would all be okay.
Celie is raped and becomes pregnant with her "father's" children. This proves how unequal woman and girls are to men, a father could feel no remorse in raping is own daughter for his own pleasure. Her father forces her to have sex with him, he has power over her so she can not react in anyway. Celie is afraid of getting hurt by her father so she will not say no to him. Once Celie's father had enough of her, he sends her off with a man to be his house wife, to do all the work around the house and have children for him. Celie has no word in this happening. She has no choice, but to go with this man and work hard for him, do whatever he desires and have his children. This has caused Celie to lose herself, she does not know who she is anymore, she does not have a sense of love or happiness, that she had when she was back at home with her loving sister, Nettie.
Gender inequality continued...
"He beat me for not being you." (Walker, online book)
In Celie's new home, she does all her wifely duties, she cleans, takes care of the kids and cooks. Celie knows that Mr.____ does not like her but he loves a famous woman named, Shug Avery. Mr.____ treats Celie terribly because he begins to go see Shug again at her performances. Celie sits around and is not phased by him being in love with someone else because, she does not care for him. Mr.____ starts to become very annoyed with Celie and since she is not as beautiful as Shug, she is beaten for it. This shows gender inequality in a large way because, a man is able to have another lover, beat the woman he lives with, but if Celie did that she would be killed. Celie can not defend herself because woman does not have the right to.
In Georgia, blacks were looked down upon. Since they lived such complicated lives, the men were always out of the house to make the money and do other things. While the women stayed home, cleaned, cooked and took care of the children. Celie begins to see herself as a slave, only good for work around the house, when Mr.____ says this to her, she begins to believe it, Celie is hurt. Being surrounded by this for so long makes her numb to the pain of hurt. Celie learns quickly to ignore ignorant comments toward her and when she is feeling down, she thinks of Nettie and God and this is how Celie gets over the world she is surrounded by.
"Oh, Celie there are colored people in the world who want us to know! Want us to grow and see the light! They are not all mean like Pa and Albert, or beaten down like Ma was." (Walker, online book)
When Celie thinks all hope is lost, Shug and Celie find the letters that Nettie wrote, for the many years, that Mr._____ hid from her. Nettie wrote this in one of her first letters, and this gives Celie hope that her life, the terrible surroundings she has to deal with everyday, is not what the world is like, there is happiness and joy in the world that she has not seen yet. This idea that Nettie is living a better life, in surroundings that are positive and not as negative as it is where she lives. This gives Celie hope, makes Celie put up with what she has to deal with because she knows that one day, Nettie is going to come back for her and together live a better life, in a happier place.
Celie has a strong relationship with her sister in the beginning. Celie and Nettie have a very loving sisterly relationship; they have fun and play together. Celie seems to be a motherly figure towards Nettie, because of the protection she feels over her. Even though Celie feels life is not good, she has been raped, lost her mother and does not have a real home, she finds love in Nettie and this causes her to push through and continue living the life she has. If Celie did not have her sister, she would not be as calm and relaxed about the whole idea of living in a house with her father, that rapes her regularly.
Female Relationships continued...
"Beautiful Smile Celie." (Walker, online book)
Shug Avery and Celie also have an amazing relationship. In the beginning, Shug treats Celie like her slave, and Celie is so in love with how Shug presents herself, that she does not care how she is treated by Shug. Celie finds Shug beautiful, interesting and comforting. Celie and Shug are so loving to each other, Celie with such a low confidence level, feels beautiful when she is around Shug. Shug and Celie create a bond, that forces Celie to forget about the crazy and terrible world around her. Celie becomes happier and more positive, she cares about her life and does not want to waste it with Mr.____. Shug and Nettie save Celie's life through providing her with love and hope.
A Thousand Splendid Suns is connected to the theme of hope. Through gender inequality, the effects of their surroundings and female relationships, hope is seen. We see hope through Mariam, by over coming the pain of gender inequality, she finds hope in herself to proceed with her life and aim towards a better future. Being surrounded by different people and ideas, force Mariam to have hope that there is a place that people do care for and love each other. The female relationships in Mariam's life give her hope because she finally finds love, happiness and joy in her life. Therefore, hope is the cause for Mariam to want to live, even though her life is so terrible.
Celie has a very complicated life, from being raped by her father, surrounded by negativity and hatred and the only up in her life is her sister Nettie and her best friend, Shug. Celie uses hope to proceed in life and, the hope that one day she will be reunited with her sister, helps her get through tough days and want to live. The theme of hope is largely seen by Celie because of how positive she is in times that most people would have no hope. Celie always having hope was one of her main characteristics that draws readers in and feel such a large connection to her.
By Alex Kaminski