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In: English and Literature

Submitted By DarkBoss111
Words 1028
Pages 5
Ahmed Abdullah
Mrs. Fox
ENG 3U-05
23rd of February, 2015
Mariam’s Loss of Innocence “A Thousand Splendid Suns” is a novel written by a famous and beloved author among the universe known as Khaled Hosseini. Hosseini tells a fictionalized account of a breathtaking story that is set against the volatile events of Afghanistan’s three previous decades starting from the soviet invasion to the reign of Taliban that puts violence, fear, hope, and faith of Afghanistan in intimate human terms. This story, however gives us new insight into the country’s beautiful culture and the historic events that occurred in the past three decades. “A Thousand Splendid Suns” begins with the life of Mariam who is a young girl growing up with a single, harsh and bitter mother known as “Nana” in the small village outside Herat. Hosseini is showing us how Mariam is starting to lose her innocence as she grows up. Mariam remembers her mother calling her a “clumsy little harami” [4] when she was at the age of five. Mariam can easily realize that this word meant to be ugly, loathsome and de meaningful through the way of her mother saying and pronouncing it, but it was not Mariam’s fault. On the other hand, her father Jalil never calls her a harami. In fact, Jalil treats her in a totally opposite way by giving her weekly gifts and telling her stories to hide his true nature revealed later in the story when he rejects Mariam wins. Nana tells different stories according to her point of view by telling negative things about Jalil. “What rich lies!” “Rich man telling rich lies” [5] demonstrating her hatred towards Jalil committing sins, yet Nana never dares to say to Jalil how much she dislikes him. All of these comments from Nana including the instant when she said: “I wish my father had had the stomach to sharpen one of his knives and do the honorable thing […] about to better for you too maybe” [7] which demonstrate how cowardly is Jalil was that he could not stand up to his family, to his wives and accepting the responsibility of fathering Mariam, makes Nana lose Mariam’s heart of compassion and love. As Mariam grows older, she learns the difference between Jalil’s treatment of her and the legitimate children. After years of longing and missing her father, Mariam decides to leave her mother to visit Jalil’s household. However, she is quickly disillusioned with her father, who refuses her to enter his house and he makes her sleep outside overnight before forcing her to return back to home. This shows Jalil’s ultimate true nature. What kind of father is Jalil? I don’t think any father in this world would commit these actions, because all of the parents admire and protect their children by providing them food, education and shelter. But it is not the right case when it comes to Jalil. The ultimate betrayal comes when he marries her off to a middle-aged man who is harsh and just keeps smoking without her approval. Mariam is definitely not happy with her marriage from Rasheed. She tells her father to do something in order to stop the marriage, but Jalil says: “Goddamn it Mariam, don’t do this to me” demonstrating that it is not his fault, so that he is far away from taking responsibilities and decisions just when he blamed that Nana forced him into having sex resulting in giving birth and making Mariam the faulty person by calling her harami. Mariam tells him “Don’t come. I don’t want to hear anything from you. Ever” [50] this quote demonstrates how Mariam is starting transform and have second thoughts about her father driving her to hate him at this point which is a dramatic sign of loss of innocence. The idea of forcing women to marry without their acceptance relates to the theme of women having their own rights and complete freedom, because women are human beings and they don’t differ from men. Therefore, women should have the complete freedom and will to practice doing anything according to what they desire. Mariam regrets and forgives her mother’s suicide, because Mariam left her mother alone, since Nana promises telling her: “I’ll die if you go. The jinn will come […] about to please stay. I’ll die if you go” [27] demonstrating Nana’s true love towards her daughter despite treating her harshly and at the end Nana loses the only person she has ever loved. Mariam blames herself due to her mother’s death and tells Mullah Faizullah: “I keep thinking of what she said to me before I left […] about to it wasn’t your fault, my girl” [43]. The person who deserves to be blamed the most is Jalil, since he cannot handle the responsibilities and he shows his true nature by denying Mariam to live in his house leaving her to sleep outside in the cold weather. In addition, he agreed to the decision made by his wives of marrying Mariam to Rasheed due to the fact that he cannot handle the responsibility of providing food, shelter and education for Mariam and he does not have the will to argue with his wives. In conclusion, Mariam is losing her innocence as the story gets more and more intense filled with mysterious actions. What is going to happen in the next three parts and most importantly how is Mariam going to continue living with Rasheed after the arrogant, evil and disastrous treatments done by Rasheed to Mariam including the instance when Rasheed goes outside to grab some pebbles and forces Mariam to eat the harsh and crusty pebbles. “His powerful hands clasped her jaw. He shoved two fingers into her mouth and pried it open, then forced the cold, hard pebbles into it […] about to leaving Mariam to spit out pebbles, blood and the fragments of two broken molars” [104] demonstrating the issue of displaying power and it’s corruption to human nature which is considered to be one of the main themes in this novel and it will definitely develop as the story goes on to deliver the excitement and persistence to continue reading the novel.…...

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