Gender Roles In A Thousand Splendid Suns

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TITLE?? "Under Taliban rule women have been stripped of their visibility, voice, and mobility" ( In the late 20th century, prior to the rise of the Taliban, women in Afghanistan were making strides toward equality as they relished the right of education and employment ( However, after the Civil War when the Taliban came to power, they instituted a system of gender separation which put women in a state of constant house arrest unless accompanied by a male relative. Women suffered emotional and physical trauma not only from the Taliban forces, but from their biological relatives and husbands. Living in a misogynistic world, the women had to find strength and comfort in each other. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini…show more content…
Hosseini unveils that female bonds are necessary for survival in a male chauvinistic society. This is found through the use of Mariam's relationships with other characters including Aziza, Nana, and Laila. To begin, through Mariam’s relationship with Aziza, Khaled Hosseini shows that the only way for women to survive and stay stable is by leaning on each other. Mariam and Aziza are similar in many ways. For example, they both are referred to as 'harami' and are unwanted by many, yet they are able to find strength and relief in each other. Aziza is the first sign of optimism and hope in Mariam's disheartening life. She finds comfort in the way Aziza's hand wraps around her finger, the way Aziza giggles, and the look of both adoration and quivering anxiety when Aziza’s eyes spot Mariam. "And when [Aziza] did that, Mariam swooned. Her eyes watered. Her heart took flight.…show more content…
The start of their relationship was unsteady, since Mariam saw Laila as an intruder in her home, stealing her husband. But when Laila stands up for Mariam and stops Rasheed from beating her, they soon find comfort in each other providing them with the mental and physical stamina to survive. "A look passes between Laila and Mariam. An unguarded, knowing look. And in this fleeting, wordless exchange with Mariam, Laila knows that they are not enemies any longer" (Hosseini 250). Laila who was raised to be confident and strong, was never given the love of a mother, making her vulnerable in some cases. Mariam was always meek, and fragile, she had never truly loved, or been loved. She was seeking someone to love, and desperately wanted to be a mother. Suitably, in Arabic Mariam means mother, in the beginning of the novel this seemed ironic given that she had repeated miscarriages and was unable to become a mother. Although, as the story progressed, we witnessed Mariam and Laila providing each other with what they needed. Mariam fulfils the role of Laila's mother and mentor, and Laila providing Mariam with love and care as a daughter. As their bond tightens, Mariam shares her troubled history, and Laila confesses not only Aziza's true father, but also her plan to

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