A Thousand Splendid Suns, a novel that which contains a plot set in Afghanistan, delineates three decades of anti-Soviet jihad, civil war, and Taliban dictatorship during the lives of two women, Mariam and Laila. Mariam, a harami and a daughter of a wealthy Herat businessman, dwells in an impoverished seclusion along her mother Nana in a small rathole near town. Her father Jalil makes occasional visits bearing presents as well as visions of a much broader global.
Despite the fact that Nana warns Mariam continuously against not trusting her father, she comes to idolize him. Mariam’s childhood unfortunately ends the moment Nana hangs herself. Just then does Jalil marry the youngster to Rashid- a 40 year old shoemaker in Kabul who possesses a brutish nature. Parallel to Mariam’s story is that of Laila, the beautiful vivacious daughter of a schoolteacher father who fantasizes about immigrating to California. As war ravages Kabul and her parents die from a rocket, the storylines emerge. The story of these two women reaches its climax in an act of extraordinary generosity and self-sacrifice of Mariam. Khaled Hosseini, the writer, excites compassion in his perusers by depicting the main character’s state in Afghanistan- which signifies Afghan women’s living condition.
As well as their suffer from and fight against expectations, domestic injustice, gender-based violence, male domination, and oppression. Endure. One word, one action that describes the life of Afghanistan women.
Throughout her youth, Mariam lacked wealth, status, and a father at home. Born a harami -a bastard- her birth is the event that brought both shame and embarrassment to her parents. Growing up as a child, she praised her father until exposed to his true colors once he left her to the streets as she went looking for him, rather than bringing her in his home. Consequently, “Mariam kept thinking of the face in the window” (35). She disgustedly recalls how “he let her sleep on the street” (35). Jalil turned out to be too ashamed of her existence to take her in to the point where he allowed social status shape his actions and morals. To uphold his social image did he willingly sacrifice integrity.
After Nana commits suicide, Mariam is taken to Jalil’s house to for a little while until he arranges a marriage for her, forcing her to agree upon the proposal of a man who is thirty years older than her. As Mariam hesitates before accepting marriage, he urges her, “Mariam,’ Jalil whispered. ‘Yes,’ she said shakily” (53). As an afghani female, she must endure. Endure the domestic injustice inforced on her by men.