Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns

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Throughout the past 37 years, Afghanistan has gone through a flux of political, social and economic changes brought about through various influences of the western world. In 1978, The People’s Republic of Afghanistan was ruled by the Soviet Union. After lasting only twelve years before their removal, the country reestablished itself as the Islamic state of Afghanistan in 1990. The Mujahedeen, now the Taliban political party, shows itself as a religious authority and takes over control of the country in 1996. Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, shine light on the particular struggles for the rights of women and families in this country during all three political periods. Since the beginning of Afghanistan’s history, women have been…show more content…
As a present, Rasheed gives Mariam a burqa, as a sign that they are husband and wife. When Mariam puts on burqa, she interestingly enough does not feel as secluded as one would expect from the concealing nature of the burqa. Although she feels that it is uncomfortable at first, during her tour of Kabul, she finds it soothing as it allows her to become invisible, freeing her from her concern that others still see her as a sinful, illegitimate child. Despite her increasing security in wearing the burqa, she doesn't lose her sense of curiosity, using it as a one way window to her world as an observer. Hosseini develops the focus on gender roles by illustrating the change in Mariam and Rasheed's relationship. By wearing the burqa, it allows Mariam's to consider her own role in her relationship and as an adult woman, comparing it to the women she describes as “modern”. She imagines these women receiving the education denied to her and having the right to opportunities that seem out of her reach. By opposing Mariam's sense of one’s self with her consciousness of the "modern" women around her, Hosseini provides a textured portrayal of Kabul in the early 1970s, a time when customary and liberal notions of gender behaviors coexist, tolerating the different cultural and religious values that existed at this time. During this time, women were not only forced to cover themselves and fully obey their husbands, but they were also denied educational
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